Friday, July 1, 2016

On being heartbroken

My son's girlfriend of over 4 years recently broke up with him. He's really hurting. They started dating when he was 17 and she was 15. They are now 21 and 20.

She's an amazing young lady. She's been like another daughter.

When a break up is unilateral it hurts so much. It also feels like you have lost another family when you've been together so long.

I was dumped twice when I was younger. Both hurt. Both were relatively long term relationships.

During my first year of Medical School, my girlfriend of over 3 years broke up with me on Valentine's Day. I was studying a lot, and stressed, and she was working as a paralegal for a law firm in Washington DC, and socializing a lot. Every radio station had love songs playing on my two hour drive from DC back to Charlottesville. I cried like a baby. I lost track of her but I know she's been married.

I dated another woman during residency for a couple of years, until she broke up with me. She contacted me when she heard about Tori's death. We met for coffee a few months ago when she was down in Florida visiting her mother. She's been divorced for years. Her ex-husband reportedly was not a very good guy. She has two children. She wrote me a note after we met and wanted to explain that the real reason she had broken up with me some 28 years ago was because I was "too predictable." She went on to say that my predictable qualities were that I was "honest, kind caring and genuine." Qualities that she "came to appreciate" as she got older. I thanked her for saying such nice things about my character.

So...back to my son. I know he has strong faith. I've told him I know he's hurting to his core. I told him he's a great guy. I told him some things can't be explained. He knows that none of us know what tomorrow will bring, especially after losing his Mom last summer. I told him to take care of himself-eat, sleep and exercise. We will keep all communication lines open and he knows I will do anything for him. He knows he will experience all the emotions he experienced last summer, including anger, and that that is actually healthy. He knows that it will take an acting performance to pretend he's doing fine every time he cross paths with her for a while. He knows deep down that he has a great future ahead of him.

I know he doesn't need me to remind him how fortunate I was to be married to his Mom or how glad/blessed/proud I am to be his father. God had a plan.

I'm sure he will also eventually connect the paragraph above to my having had my heart broken twice when I was younger.

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