When You’re Told to Move On

We have all heard it. From friends. Perhaps from family. Perhaps as a background voice within you. Perhaps you’ve heard it second hand as well-meaning friends or connections talk about you.

Isn’t it time to move on?

Moving on strikes a combination of dread, anger, anxiety and resentment all in one. It creates a feeling of closing a door. Letting go. Forgetting about your past and starting again. Like you’re supposed to open your eyes one day, feel refreshed and simply step forward into a whole new life just like stepping into a new pair of shoes.

  • Don’t they understand how hard this is?
  • They can’t even comprehend what I have lost here!
  • I’d like to see them try and move on!

I recall all of these feelings when well-meaning friends or family who commented on my endless despair and rumination.

Yes, I was stuck. But I was NOT ready to move on. Moving on felt like letting go. And I was definitely not ready to let go.

In the early days of my grief journey I felt that time was distorted. I had no concept of the days that past. Like somehow time stood still, I was in the centre of a time warp with my son where we were simply hanging there suspended in time. The world somehow blurred around us, continuing at break neck speed, yet I was oblivious to it.

  • This moment I will hold on to.
  • This moment I will just stay here.
  • This moment, like a suspended droplet of water hovering at the end of a tap, waiting, not moving, I will hold my breath here, clinging and try to survive. I am not ready to let go and fall, where my memory shatters to a million pieces and dissolves.

Days turned into weeks, turned into months. I am still suspended here, breath held, paused.

I recall noticing time moving for the first time when there was a change in season. The cold chill of winter change caught my attention as I walked on the beach, reminding me time has somehow inexplicably passed. Three months to be precise. It felt confusing, daunting and surreal.

I am still here. Not ready to move on. What do you mean time has passed?

With time I came to realise the error in everyone’s words. There is no moving on. There is only moving with.

  • Moving on feels like forgetting- when we will never forget
  • Moving on feels like closing a door- when we really need to simply open new ones
  • Moving on feels like turning my back- when we need to embrace our journey and take it with us.

My thoughts on moving on?

I think a reframe is needed and a change in language. It is too hard to expect ourselves or others to simply close doors, turn our backs and forget.

But we can hold the candle flame of love in our hearts, learn to shine it out in a way that serves others, and start to imagine a life where we can move with our story.

I hope these words help shine a light so you can see a step forward in your path.

Like to learn more about the Rise Up Method to help you navigate grief? Find out more here