Grieving lost relationships

“It isn’t helpful to only recount the negative aspects of a person when a relationship ends,” a wise person once told me.

“We also need to remember the good, in order to grieve.”

It’s certainly tempting to rehearse your frustrations – and their flaws – when you’re hurt. But part of the process of letting go is celebrating the things they taught you, and the part they played in your life.


There’s no guarantee that any friendship, romantic relationship, or marriage will last forever. One aspect of life is saying goodbye, for so many different reasons.

And when the farewell comes, we need to allow room for tears, for grief, for release – as we cling tight to the one who remains forever with us, both sides of heaven.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2)


  1. I find it hard when someone leaves. I have to admit I have not tried to think of the good things and the impact they made. It seemed wiser to not think about them at all…..
    And you are so right, no relationship is guaranteed.

    Great post Ali….did you lose someone?


    1. Yes, that makes sense – to just forget, especially when there’s been hurt.
      Only God is guaranteed hey? But so glad when he blesses us with good friends 🙂
      Thanks, yes I’ve been dealing with a friendship ending. Hasn’t been easy. But I’m getting there, with God’s help.

  2. I’m guilty of remembering more the bad in an ended relationship than the good. Somehow it makes it easier to cope with if I remember the bad, but you’re right- that doesn’t allow grieving for the lost relationship.

    1. I think ‘remembering the bad’ is an important part of the process, just as much as celebrating the good. But yes, I do think both aid the healing process… It’s never easy, exiting a relationship – especially the long-term ones…

    1. Thanks Debbie. Yeah, sometimes the hurt clouds everything else. Thankful for God, who helps us to examine things wisely…
      Thanks so much. God bless you too, and all those blessed to be your friend.

  3. Beautiful thoughts!!! Relationships are intangible but the most intriguing part of life. It is only on such situations that when we reflect back we fathom the significance of this intangibles. After years of efforts we build relationships and with one stroke of ego it goes forever, and we hanker for newer relationship and discover it very strange that someone from know where has become the new guide and philosophy for our life…strange are the ways of life, isn’t it?

  4. Thank you so much for this. I had to end an unhealthy relationship for the sake of my family. I had known this person since my birth so it was really hard. There’s so much water under the bridge that it’s hard to think about anything nice. It makes sense though what you said about the grieving process. I want to fully let go in every way. I don’t want to be bitter. Thanks Ali! Love and prayers, Amber

    1. That sounds really hard Amber. Such a long friendship, with so much history and emotional investment no doubt. It’s so easy to be clouded by all the “bad stuff” isn’t it. With the demise of a long-term friendship of my own recently, I have had to allow God to walk me through the “good” in order to grieve, but it isn’t easy when you’re hurting. I pray God gives you guidance as to how to walk through the memories and release the person to Him… Thinking of you dear friend.

  5. I love posts like this and writers like you because it helps us all feel not so alone. Knowing someone else understands. Also, it is very therapeutic to write what is in our heart. Not only does it make for great writing, (unfortunately, some of the best poetry I’ve ever written were during my lowest points in life) but it is healthy to get it out and put it somewhere else. Sometimes privately, and sometimes to share!
    Glad you did here!

    1. Absolutely – it’s reassuring isn’t it? And I agree – therapeutic for the writer. I think vulnerability always opens doors, because we have more in common with others than we often realise. We’ve all known pain, as well as joy.
      Thanks for dropping by!

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