Tuesday, November 13, 2012


The trouble with love, she said,  is that you can't keep everything close to you and safe forever. Everything comes to an end. Sometimes, the hard way, with harsh words and thrown vases (okay, that's probably just me, she added) and sometimes the tragic way, with accidents and sudden illness and sometimes just because someone has run out of moments and has to move on, but the reality is that it all comes to an end. It's just a question of when.

Then she frowned and said, But that sounds cynical and I don't think it should. I think it's more like, we don't think about the role loss plays in love. Some people think that love and hate are two sides of the same coin, but I think it's love and loss that hang out together. I think that without loss and its inevitability, you can't really have love. Without loss, there's no risk, she said, and that's what makes love sweet when you hold it in your hand. Like -- the sun on your face on a winter day. You can't have love without loss. It doesn't work that way.

The trouble is, she said, settling back in her chair, is that when we lose, we focus so much on the losing that we forget the loving. Right? When someone goes -- because you've broken up or because they've passed away or because of whatever -- it's like you can't see past the empty space anymore. You stare at the place where they were and all you see is absence. That's what I did, she said softly, I looked around and everything seemed like it had been painted black. All I could see was what was missing.

But one day I realized that it was only missing because I had once had it. You know? The only reason I was so lost and broken was because I'd had the courage to love like that in the first place, and all of my grief was really just kind of being afraid that I'd never love like that again. And I won't. But I'll love differently, and maybe better. So it's okay.

No, it IS okay, she said firmly. Plus, I know I said that you have to lose to love, but I don't really think that you ever lose anyone you truly loved. I think the heart is a locket, and all of the amazing, wonderful pieces of everyone you loved are engraved on the inside, for you to keep. You lose what's out there, she said, waving her hands around the room, but what's in here? and she put her hands over her heart, What's in here you keep for always.

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