All Grief Is Equal: Why Everyone Should Be Allowed To Mourn A Breakup

by Alexandra Bannon

At least once in our lifetimes, we will experience life-altering heartbreak.

Trying to move on from something you believed was destined to be is one of the hardest things we go through in our life, yet it can be harder when we're inevitably told we can't miss someone as much as we do.

Nowadays, society promulgates the belief that we cannot miss our exes. But I think that in order to truly move on, we need to.

When my mother died, I was told grieving was normal.

It was essential to processing her death. So, I did.

I was told it was okay to feel anger, shame, fear and pain.

It was okay to miss her as much as I did, to feel that pain burn in my heart, as if it was going to break.

It was extremely hard, and it broke me. But over time, that pain I once felt lessened, and it felt like everything was going to be okay. And it was.

As I realized the world still turned without my mom in it, I came to the understanding you can live again without your loved one, even though you don’t want to.

The people you love become a part of your heart, the part that teaches you how to grow, how to accept mistakes and how to appreciate life.

It's the part that allows you to live again.

Now, I wouldn’t have realized all of this if I didn’t know I could miss her as much as I did, or if I didn't completely feel all of my emotions.

So, why are we told we can’t miss our exes when we grieve our breakups?

Grieving is grieving. It doesn’t just entail death.

We can’t expect the process to be different because of the way in which someone was lost.

We need to understand that throughout life, we will lose people we never thought we would, and it will hurt like hell. However, we need to accept that in order to live again without them, we need to grieve.

The only way we can do this is by missing them until it hurts. If we don’t, we won't go through an essential part of grieving, the part that allows us to move on.

We can’t selectively numb our emotions when we grieve. We can’t try to not miss our exes because we think that's how we'll successfully "move on."

I'm telling you now it's okay to miss your ex as much as you do.

Missing our exes doesn’t mean we’re still in love with them, and it doesn't mean we need to get back with them. It means we’re human, and it’s normal to miss people who were once huge parts of our lives.

In life, I’ve come to learn we never really move on or even forget about the people who once meant the whole world to us.

I don’t mean to suggest we'll never be able to continue our lives without them, but it should warm and heal our hearts to know those incredible memories will live on.

Relationships may end, but they can still be revisited in our minds.

You come to realize it’s okay to think of your past loves as you move on. It doesn’t mean you're stuck, or you haven’t let go.

In order to move forward, you must grieve.

When you're able acknowledge how much you loved your ex, you'll find yourself moving on without even knowing it.

And that, my friend, is the greatest gift of all.