HERE I am, at the end of another long-term relationship. This time seems easier than the last, but I can’t really tell — time blurs my memory out of focus. The time before, I remember listening to “The Good Times We Had” over and over, soaking in my sadness until it was gone. This time the blues gave words to my pain. Yet I felt a certain inner peace with my sense of loss. In sorrow I left a relationship and in joy I rediscovered myself.

How do you mark the death of love? It seems to erode slowly over time, unfelt until the last spark is gone. There may be warning flashes, and there were, only I chose to ignore them.

Love was my answer, the answer to the riddle of existence. Into it I poured my life until, finally, I had nothing left of me. When I went in search of myself, as I had done several times before, I found this time I had let myself become drained dry.

Exhausted, I turned my vision inward, separated myself from the Eternal We. I read, wrote, talked long hours with rediscovered friends. Simultaneously, I flourished and the relationship faded. I struggled to find out what I wanted.

I sang in a wedding and wept, because I knew that what I really wanted was to leave.