Part III: Love is losing…

Love is when you’ve lost someone such as a parent, sibling, grandmother, grandfather, uncle or aunt, or a friend, and you cry and cry, until the well of tears has been emptied. After a few hours of wandering dark hallways staring endlessly into nothingness, the well has had time to fill up again, and the tears flow rapidly again down your cheeks.

Whether the passing of a loved one was expected, or unexpected, it really doesn’t matter. Even if you can’t summon any tears in the first few days, rest assured they will come days, weeks, or sometimes months later.

But everyone is different. So maybe you don’t shed a tear. You just wander aimlessly among other people in the world.

Because when you love someone like that, they are completely irreplaceable. You will never share a coffee, a joke, or have the chance to argue with them again. Your time with them is over. You miss everything about them: their non-stop yodeling, their endless talking, or the way they practiced tap dancing while doing the dishes. Or perhaps, it was the fact that they were the best at charades and kicked your butt on so many occasions you’ve lost track.

Yeah, it’s crazy what you’ll miss.

And it’s the blackness of it that will sometimes send those who loved them spiraling into darkness themselves. Friends and family rally around the sad wanderer from the sidelines, but the wanderer don’t see them.

Then someone says to the wanderer, maybe you need to talk to someone?

After months, or sometimes years of not getting past the death of a loved one, the wanderer begins to think, maybe their right?  

So, the wanderer visits a counsellor and she gives them the language of grief. What it means, what’s normal, and what should be cause for concern. Now that the wanderer has the grief dialogue they know they’re not alone, and it’s not so bad. And the wanderer knows someday, they’ll get past it.

The wanderer begins slowly at first to notice other things. They notice their friends who babble on about work and their relationships, and who bring an extra spring in their step about life. And the wanderer knows these people have been their hidden cheerleaders.

And the wanderer is grateful. Grateful for those that are still around: mothers and fathers, sisters or brothers, uncles and aunts, husbands and wives, daughters and sons, and friends. These people were the selfless ones that dragged them to movies, shopping, coffee, or for a drink at the local pub. They were the ones quietly pointing out: look, there’s still so much to do.

While you still miss the other person who left, the wanderer loves these other people and knows they’re lucky to have them in his/her life. Not wishing to waste time with those who remain, the wanderer keeps the memories of those who are gone alive, while slowly stepping back from the darkness, and turning towards the light.

Love is….

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