I had written another blog entry for this week, but something has changed my mind on subjects. This is tough to write and if it was hand-written, the ink would be smudged by many tears.
It’s been a difficult week this week. A very good friend of mine since high school lost her mother. While not a loss within my own family, it sure feels like it. As teenagers, there was a small group of us who were closer friends than the rest and our parents were more than familiar with all of us. I’d known her mother since I was fifteen years old, just as my friends have known my family. I was incredibly sad not only because my friend was going through such a difficult time, but also because I was going to miss her mother. Someone doesn’t become a part of your life for so long to just fade out without noticing. She will be missed by more than just her family, if her funeral service yesterday was any indication.
Also, I’m reminded of the sad fact that I am reaching an age where many friends might start losing parents or watching them suffer through illness. Only it’s not just age that dictates that. As I’m sure you’re aware, disease and accidents can strike anyone, at any age. There’s no preparing for it, even if you know it’s coming and as a friend, all you can do is hold a hand or offer a shoulder, as insignificant as it might feel.
I’d be lying if I said I was solely focused on my friend’s loss this week. It has been on my mind, obviously and I’m sure making my coworkers wonder why sudden waterworks were the thing every day since I heard the news. It got me thinking also, as so many things do, how I try to write realism into every story. With something like this coming along, I can’t help but be affected by it and wonder about it in relation to my stories. Gosh, that makes me sound incredibly selfish but I suppose it’s a coping mechanism for me with many things. If you’ll stick with me, I might eventually make some sense today. :–\
Losing someone you love is never easy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a break-up, death or a move. You don’t want to see the person go but so many times, it’s out of your hands and out of your control. Does this make the loss easier or harder? Who’s to say? I’ve experienced loss of both kinds and I couldn’t pinpoint which was more difficult for me. Any kind of loss requires a period of recovery and mourning. I don’t just mean the loss of someone to death. Don’t tell me you’ve just been able to bounce back the day after your boyfriend broke your heart. All these break-ups and losses need time to deal with, mourn and eventually, accept.
Maybe you’d think someone who’d lost someone close to them wouldn’t want to ever feel that way again. Maybe the fear that you’d lose more and more of yourself would keep you from ever feeling anything for anyone again. Sure, that’s true. If you don’t care about anyone, you can’t care about losing them.
I can’t imagine living life like that. Yes, I’ve been hurt and I’ve been sad. I’ve been so torn up that it literally makes me sick to my stomach and I can barely move. I’ve also never been so hurt that I haven’t been able to love and be happy again.
I don’t just mean romantic love. From something as minor as loving a pet – and a lot of you will say that’s not minor – to loving and being willing to die for my family. I can’t imagine holding a newborn ‘niece’ or ‘nephew’, the children of my closest friends, and not feel my heart expand to fit them in. I can’t imagine not feeling the need to comfort, laugh and share my heart with someone special, no matter how badly I’d been hurt in the past.
It’s frightening to me how many people might pass up the opportunity to love and be loved. I often think about how every single great romance or love story would have never happened if one or both people in the relationship had been too scared to take the chance again. Some people don’t want to be hurt by someone breaking their heart. Others don’t want to face the harsh reality of a long illness and still end up losing their loved ones.
In relation to my own stories, I’ve never written something so serious as the loss of a loved one affecting a current relationship. Maybe because it would be such a sensitive topic and getting it just right is a challenge I’m not up for yet. That’s not to say I’ll never address it and I know for a fact that people can overcome those fears and fall in love again.
I suppose all I really want to say or convey is that I hope no one ever keeps themselves from feeling and experiencing all the different forms of love. Yes, it will be sad to see that person go, or to watch them walk away, but all the time in between far outweighs the loss. At least, it does in my opinion. I don’t pretend to know how everyone feels on this subject but I know myself, and I know my own heart. I won’t stop loving and letting my heart grow. I don’t know how to be any other way. I have loved and do love with everything in me, otherwise, what’s the point?
Now, go and hug your nearest loved one, be they four-legged, family or significant other. You never know what tomorrow will bring and it’s the easiest thing in the world to share a hug, a quiet moment and those three little words.
I’ll leave you with this quote, from Barbara DeAngelis. I’ve always loved it and found it to be true.
“You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.”
Do take care, and happy reading.