“So now I say the things I want to say
Sometimes it’s better letting go this way
I’ll always know, down in my soul
We really had so far to go
I’ve given all I had to give
And now it’s time for me to live
And I won’t look back
And I won’t regret
Though it hurts like hell
Someday I will forget”
– “Letting Go”

If a tree falls in a forest and no one sees it, does it make a sound?
If your ex gets married, and you don’t attend the wedding, does it still happen?

There are a number of reasons that I couldn’t attend the wedding — missing work, lack of money, and school, to name a few. When I first received the “Save the Date” card, I actually thought I had a schedule conflict. Even as the reason changed why I could not attend, one fact still remained. I knew that it would be difficult to watch him get married.

One of my favorite movies is “For Love of the Game”, which is about a baseball player who ends up leaving the game (the love of his life) for a woman (the greater love of his life). The woman, played by Kelly Preston, falls hard for him, but is afraid to show emotion or the need for a commitment, for fear of losing him. At one point, early on in her relationship, she sets ground rules that they can see other people, and that neither will question the other about his/her personal life when they are not together. She finally lets her guard down, as a result of his persuasion, and travels to meet him at Spring Training, where she finds him with another woman. He chases after her, and reminds her of the conditions she initially set — her response?
“I was trying to be the guy.”

In other words, she felt the relationship would go better, and he would stick around longer if she deemphasized the need for a commitment, and never acknowledged the possibility of a future. She knew deep down that was what she really wanted, but she felt that exposing her feelings would jeopardize any hope of a future with him.

He once told me, after he was engaged, that he thought I didn’t want to get married. It couldn’t have been farther from the truth. Granted, we certainly weren’t ready to make a commitment on that scale while we were dating, but the possibility was always there for me. I simply felt that by not revealing my feelings and giving him the space to sort out his life and future, that I was ensuring the posterity of our relationship.

I never told him how I felt. If I made any allusion to my feelings, I certainly never told him the depth of them. I loved him more than any guy I had ever been with. When the possibility of moving out-of-state (and away from him) first surfaced, we had been broken up for quite awhile. I told myself that if I was to leave, I would tell him how I felt. I would tell him that I loved him.

Life changes quickly. By the time I moved, he was engaged and I was in another relationship. Obviously, my feelings for him, and the situation at large changed. It no longer made sense to drop that bombshell on him, because anything that could result no longer fit in either of our lives.

I remember when I found out that he had gotten engaged, secondhand from a mutual friend. Even though I was happily involved with another person, I still reacted. It seemed unfathomable that life could change so quickly. Even though he and I were simply friends at the time, the news shocked me. It didn’t seem possible that he could be getting married.

As time passed, the situation began to make more sense. His fiancee, although I barely know her, is someone that I probably could have been friends with in another lifetime. If he was going to get married, she seemed to be the best choice for him. I want him to be happy, and to see the big picture — what’s truly important. I get the impression that she accomplishes both of those feats for him.

Just the same, there is a part of me that knows life changes when he walks down the aisle. It is saying goodbye to an ideal that I held on to for a long time. Not so much the idea of me being with him, but the idea of knowing that he was always out there. And even though I am happy for him and at peace with their upcoming nuptials, I still know it would be difficult for me to witness firsthand.

So I say this to him: Congratulations! I hope that you have found True Love, and that she is the person you picture growing old with. I hope that you will be the best person you can be for her, and that you will always remember what is truly important. I’m sorry that I cannot be there with you on your wedding day, but know that I want you to be happy.

And that, is letting go.