Monday, March 10, 2014

On life, love and loss

The longer I live, the more it seems that life is about loss. Or partly about that, at least. I'm not really old yet, but even in my 60s I'm outliving people that I care about. My father died long ago, when I was still in my 20s, and that loss seems so remote to me now. Plus I wasn't that close with my dad. Much more recently, my best friend's husband died of pancreatic cancer in his 50s, just two years almost to the day after they were married. Then came the death of one of my great loves, a man named Louie who was many years my senior. He was one of a handful of soul-mate lovers (or I thought so at least) in my whole life, and the first to die. He lived in a small town in North Carolina where my parents lived, and to this day when I pass through that town, I miss him so profoundly -- even though I never ran into him for many years after we broke up. There was some comfort in thinking that I might see him again, and we might be able to say a few more things to each other.
Me and my mother, about 2000

The most profound loss however was the death of my mother, two years ago this month. She was the love of my life -- for almost 62 years! I'm not as bereft of her now as I was at first, but there are still times when my mind reels with the knowledge that she is gone from this life forever, and that I have to live the rest of my days without her.

One saving grace -- I'll close with this so as to end on a more hopeful note -- is that I try to replace these thoughts of loss with feelings of gratitude for what I DO have. That is, think about what I have and not what I don't have. When it comes to my mother, I was so blessed to have had first of all a full-time mother (she didn't work outside the home while she raised us), and a woman who was born and bred to be a mom. She did it so well, so lovingly, from the bottom of her heart.

That makes me very rich in love!

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