A dramatic final farewell isn’t necessary here.

The title is something on which my friend J agreed with me regarding the below thoughts. They’re originally my comment on J’s blog post, Parts of a whole (revisited), and some afterthoughts as I’ve been thinking about this ever since.


My journals are somewhere in a box behind all sort of things. And, in the lack of a place to burn them (no real yard), they’ll likely stay there until I have my own little house with a garden where I can build a fire.
Danielle LaPorte’s post prompted the same feelings in me – that of “Yes” and that which, turns out, is why I haven’t been journaling since then. The vastness of the past is something I like, while investing in the future is what “pays off” on the long run. There can sometime be a magic to old Dear Diary. But this is not the time.

What I do wonder when I’ll throw away or burn, are photographs. I’ve thrown away photos from a relationship before. I haven’t regretted it.

And from another one that ended, I’ve deleted blog comments. I kind of regret that latter.

But I haven’t deleted photos. Not the digital ones tucked away in a myriad of numbered folders on my laptop, nor print versions. I’ve gathered the prints into an album. It sits on a shelf. Not in plain view for everyone’s eyes, but not particularly hidden either. I agree that a physical act of release can be a good thing, in many situations.
However, right now, I can’t bare the thought of throwing these photographs away. I probably never will burn them, either. And it’s taking a while to figure out why.

All I can think of at the moment is: it might be because I’m content. I’m happy with what was, and all the good in that relationship. So, for now at least, they’re “safe” from a dramatic final farewell.


PS: She did it. J has burnt her journals meanwhile, and I can tell you one more thing for certain – I surely will burn mine when I get a chance.

10 Comments to “A dramatic final farewell isn’t necessary here.”

  1. I’ve been thinking about that, too. The problem is I don’t know where they are and I don’t look back on them anyway. But I have had a very similar experience – I burnt a 20-page love/hate letter from a guy once. I kept it for two years because it threatened to turn into a “stalker” situation and I needed evidence for the police. I kept it in the back of my bookshelf – I knew where it was in case I needed it, but I didn’t look at it. Thankfully, I never needed it and never saw the guy again during those two years. Then, when I moved house, I decided that it was time to throw it out – and that I was strong enough to do that. I did – I read it one last time to see how insane he was and then tore it up and threw it out. (I would have loved to have burned it, but I had no place where I could burn it!) There was a finality in that action and I loved it! Then, about 9 months after that, I saw him in the shopping centre. I was okay with that but I did avoid him and I didn’t drive anywhere near my new home because he saw me and tried to follow me. Thankfully, I lost him at a set of traffic lights and on a highway. But there is power in getting rid of the physical past – no question about it! :)

    • Probably a good thing when we don’t look back anyway.
      I recall you telling me about that. Sorry to hear it, but it’s good that you got that feeling of finality out of tearing the letter up and throwing it away. It’s how I felt, too, at the end of that previous relationship where I have no regrets of throwing out letters and photos.

  2. I tend to get like that with gifts. Who says we need to throw out all teddy bears, candles, kitchen utensils and other gifts give by exes? :)

  3. We forget with time, and looking back is not always the best option. That said, I also have relationships and times of my life I think about without obsessing and it keeping me from functioning in the present.

  4. This is a tough subject you’ve written about, but you’ve done it well. We all need some closure at times, and when we’re happy with things, it’s not all that necessary indeed.

  5. There’s so much truth to your words! God only knows the answers.

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