Everyone's gone through pain in their life, either through the loss of a friend or family member, or even the loss of a family pet, which often can bring the most profound sense of loss anyone has ever felt. Losing someone you love through breaking off a relationship is something everyone's gone through before too, which is obviously where I'm living these days. I know I've become somewhat of a One-Note Danny with my blog, but writing about what I'm going through is cathartic for me, so bear with me kind reader.
The reason all I can say is, "wow," is that it's absolutely amazing to me how loss can just hit you like a lead balloon, completely unexpectedly, and no matter how much you'd like to numb it, the pain is there in its all consuming reality. I am absolutely bowled over by the sense of loss I feel sometimes when I think about Meg, and just a half hour ago or so it hit me hard--really, really hard. It's absolutely shocking to me how strongly I feel this loss, particularly when I look at myself in a dispassionate and purely anthropological way. In that light, it's freaking unbelievable.
There are two "wow" factors: how incredibly strong my love is for Meg--I never imagined it possible to love someone so much. The flipside of that "wow" factor is the searing pain I feel now that she's gone from my life. Up until now, I would say that such strong feelings were inconceivable to me. I'm stunned, quite honestly, anytime I feel either.
What blows me away even more is that over time, love between husband and wife (in a healthy relationship) will grow even deeper and stronger. It begs the question: What must it be like to lose a spouse? And I can't have a way to understand the love that a mother or father has for their children. It makes me wonder at the tremendous loss my brothers and sisters-in-law must have felt when they each lost an unborn child. One thing I am certain of: Love is not finite. It grows and continues to grow, and there's always \room for more. What a gift that is to us. But then when the object of our love is lost--can their be greater pain?
Sometimes when I feel the pain, I wish I could numb it, turn it off, or excise it from my heart, but I can't, and honestly, I really don't want to do that. I think that's incredibly unhealthy--to willfully choose to ignore the pain one is feeling isn't good at all. I am living in it, each day, and I'm not going to kill it because I don't like it. I think there is much yet for me to learn.
As is the case for me so often, I think of C.S. Lewis. One of the best quotes from one of my favorite movies, Shadowlands, speaks to how I feel:
"Why love, if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore: only the life I have lived. Twice in that life I've been given the choice: as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety, the man chooses suffering. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal."
I'm not choosing safety.