My friend’s fiancée announced that she had secured her own new apartment. Even more final to him, she had actually gone ahead and changed their relationship status on her page from “engaged” to single. Though he couldn’t verbalize it, I knew what he was feeling: crushed—and relieved.
“I guess I have to get on board with this,” he said as if in shock. Less than a week before he had expressed a wish that she would just go ahead and end their tumultuous relationship so he wouldn’t have to break her heart and crush the dreams for her future.
“How are you really?” I asked with concern, sensing the hint of depression in his tone.
“I went to work and to the gym. Now, I’m cleaning out Facebook,” he said.
Damn Facebook. I imagined him going through every photo of her. Sifting through images of him and her. Looking back at the photos from their trip to Florida where he proposed, of the photos of the big 40th birthday party she threw for him afterward, and of all the trips they’d taken together in the last nine months or so. The thought of him doing all that on his first night truly alone and without her, as much as a big part of him had seemed to crave this scenario, truly broke my heart.
“Why don’t you wait a few days?” I asked him. “Give yourself a little time to think about if this is really what you truly want first, huh?”
He didn’t respond. Though I could see the train wreck that their engagement was and that their impending nuptials would probably be, and I hadn’t been afraid to give my opinion when asked, I wasn’t a heartless bitch. Trust me, I’ve been in more than a couple of destructive relationships for much longer than I should because I too have hoped that with time, love and more effort, things could eventually work themselves out. I’ve stayed longer than I should because I didn’t want to hurt anyone either. Leaving had never, ever been easy. Even when I walked out that door, a big part of me had been heartbroken too.
This morning, I checked his Facebook page, out of curiosity. He had removed “engaged” from his status. Every single photo of her, every family photo that included her from the holidays or happy get-togethers had been removed, as if those moments had never existed.
But then I noticed there were still traces of her left on his wall. Cute messages she left for him over the last few months. However, I believe he deleted other messages from friends that referenced engagement congratulations and pleasure seeing them together. But then I saw it—the sweetest video set to a love song showing photos of the two of them and their journey together that I commented back when she posted it that they should use as their wedding reception video.
There are some things you can’t erase from the past. Some things perhaps you shouldn’t even try. They happened. They were sweet and positive memories. And it’s okay to remember and cherish those, even as you mourn what was lost, then move forward into the unknown future.