Better To Have Loved And Lost

There’s a funny thing about death.

You know what your life was when someone you loved was still alive, and you know what it became once they died. It became a colder, darker, lonelier place and you find yourself torn between holding onto those you have left ever more tightly or distancing yourself from them for fear of going through that pain again.

Losing my father was my worst fear. Surviving that meant I could survive anything. I dreaded the loss of my mother more than I feared it, but that didn’t make it any less painful when it did happen.

I find myself thinking, at odd moments, of what it will be like when the other people I love die, or what it will be like for them if I go first.

Everyone dies. I know this. But the knowledge that I will one day lose my sister, my brother, my friends cuts at me and I have to either send my mind far away from that train of thought or start screaming and never stop. And worse, the fact that my nephew will one day lose his parents, and me, and go through the same heartache, fills me with sadness.

The pain doesn’t stop. You just get used to it. And then something else happens, someone else dies and you have to get used to it all over again.

We don’t mourn for the dead, we mourn for ourselves, and what we have lost and it’s totally selfish. But we can’t help it.

The thing is, we can’t stop loving, stop caring, because the world is brighter and happier with those we love and the price is so, so worth it. So I will cling to those who make my life so bright and cherish the remaining days, weeks, years I have with them.

The fear of death is no reason to stop living. The fear of an ending is no reason not to start.