Love and Loss
Updated: Mar 8
What happens when you put these two words together? Something extraordinary. You are combining something very beautiful with something very painful.
You wouldn’t feel pain of loss without feeling love first, would you? You wouldn’t miss someone who you not deeply loved, would you? You wouldn’t find yourself crashed down on the floor, screaming and howling for someone you didn’t love, would you?
No. You would not. It is as simple as that.
It seems like LOVE comes AT A COST. You have to pay for love with an enormous amount of pain. And what is worse, there is no measure to that pain. No definite moment when your body and mind realise that this is enough. You have gone through enough pain and torment and torture so it can stop now. This unfortunately doesn’t happen. The pain just continues and leaves you utterly exhausted, wondering – am I ever going to feel fine again? Am I ever going to be pain free? Am I ever going to live a happy and fulfilling life?
If you worry that the pain and hurt won’t pass, let me give you a quote from David Kessler’s book - Finding meaning: “The time will come when memory will bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.” Isn’t this a beautiful quote? And that’s where I am at in my grief. Yes, many years have passed, many tears have been cried but it was all worth it. Because acknowledging the loss and sitting with my pain, helped me to heal. And I have definitely tried to avoid doing the sitting and acknowledging, only to find out that no amount of running away from my pain would help. The running away is just a delaying tactic. It serves its purpose of course. But in the long run – is it helpful? No…
So, what is love? How would you define love?
Love is a feeling, isn’t it? But there is more to it than the simple four-letter word.
LOVE means different things to different people and yet we all use it to summarise how we feel towards someone or about someone.
LOVE for some people represents safety, happiness, contentment, appreciation, that feeling that someone understands you. Love seeps through our veins as if our life depended on it. And at times it does. Because we can’t imagine the person who we love not to be there. We can’t imagine our life continuing without the person we once loved.
There is this famous quote saying: ‘Grief is just love with nowhere to go’. Do we continue loving someone after they die? Many say that we do. Many say that love doesn’t die with the person we lost. I let you decide. You know how it feels for you. All I know is that we no longer use present tense. We don’t say ‘I LOVE YOU’. We now say: ‘Oh HOW MUCH I LOVED HER/HIM’
So what about LOSS? The cruel indicator of your reality. You lost someone. Not temporarily, as the word might suggest, but forever. Lost and not found, lost and not coming back. Lost forever.
But how can that be? It seems like, one minute they were here and the next minute they are gone.
What about all the future plans you were making? What happens to those now? Are you supposed to do everything you planned on your own now? Is that the right thing to do? You no longer know what is right and what is wrong. Because your world has been tipped upside down and for starters that’s not right. This shouldn’t have happened to you but it did.
It’s so hard to get your head around the reality. The reality and meaning of loss. Why do they call it loss anyway? When we lose something, we hope to find it again. Something lost is something misplaced. Not dead!
Take the Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet. Juliet appeared to have died and Romeo can’t imagine living his life without her so he drinks poison that kills him. Juliet however wakes up and finds Romeo dead so she takes her life to be with him.
This is very common in grief. Somehow, you cannot imagine your life without your loved one and all you want to do is to be with them-wherever that might be and however that might look like.
You are constantly missing their presence and are reminded every single second of every single day that they are not here. Not only have you lost someone but now you feel lost too.
You might have friends and family around you who are telling you to move on, to look forward, to start planning, to live your life, to embrace change and so on. But how can you? How can you do all these things when all you want deep down is the world to stop turning, the time to stop ticking, the noise to go silent, to bury yourself in bed and not come out until you feel better, until you are all healed, until all of the pain goes away. Because that’s what missing someone who you loved looks like. You want to scream at the people who are giving you the advice but your polite self holds back the words and says instead: "I know", “I will”.
And from then on it feels like you have to wear a mask - to present to others that you are “acceptable”, that you are “moving on” but deep inside, you are still broken, you are in great pain, exhausted from carrying on and pretending.
So, what do we do with the love we once felt? Is it now forever replaced with loss? Can love and loss truly co-exist? Those are truly profound questions and only you can answer those.
Many turn their love to carry on the legacy of those who they lost – immersing themselves in projects such as fund raising, setting up charities or volunteering their time. This is your journey and only you know what feels right and what it is that you need to do. I have turned my love to help others with their grief. So if this blog resonated with you and you are finding yourself struggling to cope with your loss, reach out. I am only a phone call or an email away. Start your journey with me alongside you, helping you to make sense of everything that happened. Together we can figure out how to help you.
Should you wish to contact me, my
email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
phone number: 07429255636