To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact,
you must give your heart to no one,
not even to an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements;
lock it up safe in the casket
or coffin of your selfishness.
But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless--
it will change.
It will not be broken;
it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
~ C.S. Lewis
’T is better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
~ Alfred Tennyson Tennyson
The pain I feel after losing Doug is more intense because I loved him so much, and we were truly happy. I've been thinking about how much easier this would be if that were not the case. If I had never loved him. If he hadn't been such a great guy. If we hadn't had such a wonderful relationship. It would certainly be easier to bear.
This is kind of like the question: which is better: to have been born blind, or to have sight and then lose it?
Of course in the first case, a blind person probably has some sense of what they are missing. They hear about it from others. They know the limitations of being blind in a world where most people are sighted. But I would guess they cannot feel as intensely the gap between what they have and don't have, because they don't know it. They have not experienced what colors are like, or what it is like to see a rainbow or the ocean or a loving look.
In the second case, your world goes from light and color to complete darkness. From the simultaneous sensory inputs of sights, sounds and touch, to sounds and touch only. You know exactly what you are missing. You mourn that change. It is an incredibly painful loss.
But at least you knew it once. In the past, you saw a rainbow or the ocean or a loving look. You experienced that richness, that added dimension. You can't have it in the here and now, and that hurts. You do still have the memory. And you are forever changed by it.
The first situation is certainly easier. The pain of loss is less intense. But is it really better?
Would you really rather give up all you had with and got from your loved one?
Would you really rather that your loved one never experienced all you had with them, and gave to them, including your love?
Is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all?
As my virtual friend LB said, there is probably no answer that would soothe the soul.
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