The Thin Line Between Moving On and Moving Forward

Earlier today, a friend showed me her iPad and asked me to see the movie Walang Forever (There is no Forever). It is a 2015 Filipino film starring Mr. Jericho Rosales and Ms. Jennylyn Mercado. Since I stopped believing in forever, watching romantic movies or anything which has something to do with love was considered a taboo. I thought it was okay to watch because the title itself insinuated something negative. It could probably be a tragic story. Pathetic much? I know right!

Is there really such thing as forever?

I mused.

The bitter, lonely and pessimistic me answered: No, there isn’t. Forever can only be found inside a bookstore. There is a vast array of fictitious stories you could choose from. I bet you could get lost…

Pfft! Stop right there!

The hopeless romantic in me got irritated. She interrupted my thoughts and said: Yes, it does. A happily ever after story does exist. Have you forgotten about the love of your life?

Uh huh… uhm, okay.

Fine. Whatever.

Get a hold of yourself, sweetie! I’ve gone mad for a second and immediately scolded myself.

Nevertheless, I turned off my mobile phone’s playlist and plugged in the headset to the iPad. I decided to watch the flick even though I was unenthusiastic about it. I listened with half an ear because I was busy with my work. Since I was still in the office, I was interrupted numerous times. I have answered phone queries, replied to urgent emails, and responded to the concerns of my colleagues who dropped by my post.

I lost track of the movie. I didn’t understand anything at all. Nonetheless, I kept the film rolling. I have put my attention to my pending work load more, though.

After some time, I have decided to stop the flick. There was no sense to continue watching it. I already have failed to follow the story to begin with. And besides, the dialogues were becoming a distraction already. I was about to hit the button but was halted half way. My focus was immediately defeated when I heard the trembling voice of the female lead star. I was intrigued. Her quivering tone tapped my interest. I quickly saved the excel file, put my task on hold and looked at the tablet. And then I saw the actress’ pain stricken face. She was trying her best to fight back her tears while uttering, I was holding his [husband] hand when he died. And I was like, what?

One dialogue. One powerful line.

The forlorn script caught me off guard. I gasped. I began screaming inside my head. And silent tears came out pouring.

The leading lady’s brief speech made me recall the day my life was changed. It was the day my world was broken and crushed into millions of minute pieces. It was the day I became an empty shell. It was the day I died along with my husband, Ian O’Neil Morales.

Everything that happened on the 4th of March 2015 came back to me in a flash. It was as if I was still in the hospital. The head nurse was comforting me, the medical practitioners and nurses were on their toes, and I could hear a panicky voice on the speaker saying: code blue, code blue: all available doctors please proceed to ICU Room No 5.

And then a deafening silence followed. It was the most horrifying sound that I have ever heard in my entire life.

I found myself entering my husband’s room. He was covered with a white blanket. I rolled it down and stared at him. I cupped his face with both of my hands and then kissed his lips.

And I held his hand.

Alas! I experienced death again. And again, and again.

People told me that I have to move on. They advised me to move forward and stop dwelling in the past. This and that. I know they meant well. I felt their love, concern and support. I appreciated everything and I was grateful to each one of them.

Yes, it hurts. The pain is indefinable. There are no words to describe it. The sharing of sympathies would one day end, but grieving for the lost loved one does not. The pain gradually stops. However, it doesn’t mean grief will cease too. The emptiness would always be there; you just learn how to deal with the loss, eventually.

The movie star also mentioned, if you stopped believing in forever it means you are ready to move on.

Her dialogue made me think. I have pondered about it; her line made me recognize that there is a thin line between moving on and moving forward. Albeit the difference is slim, it does exist.

So… what is the difference?

My definition of moving on is to forget everything from the past. Whereas, moving forward is to bring the past to the future.

As humans, we tend  to deny, run or hide from anything which causes loss, pain and suffering. We are all afraid of getting hurt. Heart breaking relationships, bad encounters, and the like are just few of those unhealthy experiences. If we are going through such, all decisions and actions are done solely for the sake of avoiding and forgetting those circumstances. This is called moving on.

Moving forward, on the other hand is of a higher level of reaction. It is defined as facing the problem, accepting the consequence and learning from the experience. We do not just avoid and forget but bring forth everything we have gained to a brighter future instead. Those are considered as tools to equip us, the stepping-stones for new beginnings, the strong foundation in building a promising new chapter in life and battle gear to defend us.

So… Is there really such thing as forever? Will I move on or move forward in life? 

Yes there isI truly believe in forever.

And I am eternally grateful to God for giving me the greatest love of my life.

I never had any sad moment with my beloved spouse. He brought nothing but happiness to me. So, why should I move on?  


I don’t know what is next for me, but everything that he taught me, the way he made me feel, and the memories that we have shared are safely stored in my heart. Even though he and I are physically separated, we will constantly be one in heart. He will always be a part of me. An irreplaceable piece of my heart and soul. A permanent part of my whole being. He will live on forever in me.

He will always be my God’s greatest gift, my inspiration, my strength, and my reason to pursue my goals. I will make a brand new start. I will create a better future, fulfill dreams, and to be happy again.

And thus, I will move forward.