Our relationships with others are what make life so exhilarating, dynamic and, simply, worth living.
But what happens when they're gone and those relationships are severed?
They leave voids.
The voids created by those who have left us can range in magnitude, but they're all equally felt.
This void could be felt when you go to a certain restaurant you used to frequent with the person, only to realize those moments won't be there anymore.
It could be felt on a Friday night when you're alone in your bed, without his or her arms around you.
It could be felt when you see an article online you know the person would love, but you realize you can't share it with him or her.
It's okay to feel a void.
It's okay to wander through the space left by someone's absence. It's okay to miss the person's presence.
It's normal to cry when you feel this void.
It's also normal to feel numb to it all because you don't fully comprehend the person is gone yet.
Whatever you may be feeling, it is normal. Regardless of whether or not you want to feel his or her absence, you will.
It's important to feel it and reflect on it.
The person had lessons to teach you, and you learned them. The person had love to give you, and you received it.
Regardless of how you come to acknowledge and understand this void, it is a process. Moving on can be difficult. Some days, you may feel his or her absence more than others.
Most importantly, though, you will be okay.
I still feel the void left behind by my ex-boyfriend. His void is vast and immensely painful.
I've wandered through it, sat in it and ran in circles inside it, trying to make sense of everything that happened. I've screamed in it, cried in it and stood in silence, just staring at everything left in his wake.
I must to learn to live outside this void. I've tried not to allow my days to be colored by what "could have been."
Instead, I think of "what can be."
I have to learn to accept aspects of my life have changed, but that doesn't mean my life is over. I may feel a void now, but that doesn't mean I have to feel it forever.
You definitely have to walk through this void, but you don't want to get stuck in it.
Acknowledge its presence, feel it, make sense of it the best you can and fill it.
Fill it with those you love.
Fill it with those who are still there for you and supporting you, such as new friends, old friends you haven't spoken to in a while, family and, most importantly, yourself.
Filling this void is a process, and I'm still figuring it out.
I'm working toward filling my void with friends, experiences and self-love.
Learning to fill the void left by someone we loved is difficult, but it's essential in order to move forward, grow and thrive.