Saturday, 16 May 2015

The Universality of Love and Loss

Last week’s post prompted an unprecedented number of emails from friends and strangers. People shared stories of favourite pets and the heart-wrenching moments of saying goodbye. It was not my intention to focus on that event, but on the lesson learned through the experience. However, it resonated with so many readers and it is that response that has lingered with me this week.

It seems all of us have a story of loss wrapped in love. It is unavoidable. It is part and parcel of this cycle we call life. I was discussing this with a friend of mine who still struggles with frightening memories of her children’s life-threatening illnesses. I am in awe of those folks who take on the task of raising the little beings of our future, and told her I could never do so. I mean, look at the mess I still am over my dog. Her wise observation gave me pause. The minute you love someone is the minute you open yourself up to heartache.

Yet, it is love that keeps us human, that helps us rise above the ugliness in the world and be a better person on a small scale and, for some, on a larger scale. When we give it freely, unconditionally, we are strengthened by it. When we must say goodbye, we are devastated, never to be quite the same again. In this we are all united. In this we are all the same.

I believe it is why so many people connected with last week’s post and why they felt compelled to share their own moments of despair. Although each of us writes our own life’s story through our decisions and chance, each tale is woven with the common threads of love and loss. Thank you my friends, old and new, for sharing.

1 comment:

  1. "The minute you love someone is the minute you open yourself up to heartache." Amen! And it's this vulnerability that makes stories intimate, moving, and one that sticks with the reader.