I came across this in Orson Scott Card’s, Shadow of the Giant: “Life is full of grief, to exactly that degree we allow ourselves to love other people.”
I got to thinking about this, wondering about how true it is. We have all experienced loss. In love affairs when the person we love moves on, we often swear “Never again!” Never again will we love anybody as deeply or completely, never again will we allow ourselves to be hurt in such a way. When a beloved pet dies, we swear that never again will we get another one. Never again do we want to open ourselves to such hurt.
The more we love, the more we feel, the greater the grief we experience when it ends. Should we then try to insulate ourselves from caring? Should we erect barriers behind which we hide to keep ourselves free of emotional attachment? It is easy to say that we should never do this, that we should never withdraw from life, should never shy away from love, but sometimes this withdrawal is necessary.
Sometimes the hurt, the despair, the agony is so intense that we must withdraw in order to simply survive. And here is where people react differently. Some feel the need to talk about their emotions. They must find somebody to pour out their feelings, to go over the minutiae of all the events leading to the emotional crisis.
Others are different; they seem to ascribe to the adage: “The deeper the hurt the less voice it has.” They withdraw and silently contemplate their agony, their minds traveling down each and every aspect of the situation, exploring, digging through the tumulus and detritus, the tortuous byways until a balence is reached. Only then can they give voice to the hurt, only then can they talk without succumbing to the emotional storm that swept over them.
As for myself, I have loved deeply and I have grieved deeply. Is the agony worth it? Of course it is! And it ain’t over yet…hopefully I still have a way to go!
30August2007, 2:50 am