Saturday, February 8, 2014
Something is ripped away, never to be returned. An empty space takes up residence in the chest and the heart implodes. Every fiber in the body pulses and vibrates with the saddest and most painful frequencies. Chills are sent down the spine as a warning siren begins to blare. The emotional flood gates open and suddenly you are at the mercy of the torrents of grief, with each rush more volatile and violent than the previous. Sadness, with its heart-wrenching cruelty, begins to wash over you, followed by the lashing waves of anger and rage. Fear is felt on the most primal level and it incapacitates. At times your head may pop above the surface. You may catch a glimpse of radiant sunlight emerging from behind a dark cloud. Rest assured the flood will pull you back under. The emotional currents have begun to swirl and merge. What drags you back under this time will not have a distinct signature for it is the perverse muddying of the others. Your head once again pops above the surface and your lungs gasp for air. Light briefly kisses the cheek, only to disappear behind a cloud. Sadness then pulls you further down the river and the whole process repeats itself again and again. Finally, your weak and mangled body settles in the chilly backwaters of loneliness and there you lie.
This loss can represent many things. A beloved parent passes away. A loving relationship turns cold and dissolves. A dream is ripped from the realm of possibility. Or, just simply, you grow older and change, losing a meaningful part of yourself in the process. Regardless of the loss, we most certainly know what was and what is now, no more.
There is no love without loss.
There is no way to experience life without also experiencing profound loss. If we choose not to love, then we lose all the light, warmth, joy and enrichment of love. That, in its own way, is a form of loss. If then we choose to love, then the specter of loss haunts the love, only to manifest itself when the light disappears. Often, there is little to no control over whom we choose to love. Could you choose not to love a parent, a child, a friend or a lover? Sure, after enough pain and hurt the love will be diminished, but it will always be there. Possibly the only thing we truly have control over is how much we choose to love. The degree to how much we love is the true measure of courage and strength, because the more we love the more we lose.