The 5 Stages Of Letting Go


When you realize that someone’s heart has stopped forever, you wish that yours would too so you wouldn’t have to feel the pain of it being ripped out of you.

It could be your friend, your husband, your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, mom, dad, brother, sister—the list of people you could lose to death goes on. But death is not the only way that someone’s heart can stop.

Someone’s heart can simply just stop loving you forever, and you wish that yours could stop, too.

Whether it’s because of death, a breakup, or a falling out, you never know when someone will just stop existing in your life. And, to put it plainly, it SUCKS.

And you aren’t alone in going through the following stages of letting go.

1. You’re going to hurt.

You’re going to want to put your hand inside your chest and tear out your heart and shred it to pieces so you’ll never have to hurt like that again. You might rip the pages in your journal that you wrote about them. You might even throw them into a fire and watch those pages, those pictures, all of those memories curl into nothingness, hoping that you will be able to erase every piece of them so you are not reminded of the loss.

2. You’ll realize that you can’t stop the hurting that easily

So you try to channel your energy into something else. You might find yourself unable to focus. Fidgeting to find a comfortable position proves to be an impossible task, and your body attempts to relax, but instead stiffens so tight that every muscle in your body is claustrophobic.

The pressure rises within, releasing sweat from your palms; the creeping stutter your speech and anxiety thumps all around your chest and churns uneasily in your stomach––you might barf.

Anything to not think about them so much.

  3. You’ll finally say to yourself, “They’re gone.”

This is the moment you say to yourself the truth you’ve been avoiding.

The words are penetrating. Your mind is blank as your thoughts drown in panic. Can you breathe? Are you swimming up for air but chained down by a rock of denial? They’re not gone, they’re not gone, they can’t be, I love them, I can’t, I can’t–––What will you do? What can you do?

You don’t know what to do because you’ve just been hit with the brutal truth of what you lost. You might finally break down into tears, releasing everyting you’ve been holding in.

You want to let those tears just drown you into feeling nothing.

4. You won’t want to let go.

You try beat the rock off of you, but you don’t want to let go just yet. You wallow in the water, in your memories of them — anything to remember that they existed. You look for clues that they loved you too, or didn’t love you; you search for some truth in someone that cannot speak to you anymore. To keep them alive in your life.

But you find yourself drowning. Drowning.

5. You’ll have two choices: to drown with this rock or to let go.

You can kick like you’ve never done before. You can scream and you can push through the water, even if you’re arms are burning. You are stronger now. You will survive this if you just let that rock go. Just let it go.

Because the minute you let it go, you won’t have to fight to breathe into the surface again. You will simply float. Your head will break through the water and a wave of air will fill your lungs up again.

And once you’ve made it to the surface, you will lie on your back. You will breathe again. And you’ll think, why did I let the rock hold me down for so long? All you had to do was let go.

And now that that’s over, you can walk. You can run, even. Maybe slowly at first, but you will. Because even though they are gone, you are here. You may not know why, or for how long, but you know that you are here now.

You are here now, without anything holding you down. You are free.