Time Frame > Beyond the First Year (1+ years)

Living Love and it's other

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Good Morning, I hope all is well.

It’s a year today, September 21, 2017.  Susan passed gently into the early morning hours -- the silent time.  Revelers usually down from the past evening and the early birds not quite yet roused . . .  around 3 a.m.

I sit here typing my thoughts and some whip through my mind leaving only downed branches of thought, scattered and incomplete. 

For me, there seems to be two types of love.  There is a living love. And there is one after that person is no longer in your sphere – whether through death or otherwise. 

A living love is nourished and strengthened every day as you enfold your arms around what life has placed along your path that day, week, month . . . year.   A love that is fueled by all your senses.  The taste of a kiss, the touch of an embrace, the smell of her hair, the sight of her sleeping so gently and the sound her laughter.  This love is a powerful magnificent thing. 

I was lucky, I believe, to understand it at the beginnings with Susan.  I was lucky enough to understand it was a thing that was to be handled so preciously despite its unbreakable nature.  I was lucky enough to understand I would do anything to feed it, grow it and surround myself in it.  Is it not the breath of life?  Like living in that moment of first holding your child?  The power and size of it unfathomable.

If I’m honest a small spot in the back of my mind always thought a thing such as this is not meant to last.  It burns so bright, like a candle lit at both ends.  Susan and I were both lucky enough to understand we held something very rare and we treated it as the breath of life.  Like your only source of water, like the precious seeds you would harvest after each growing season….we would let nothing contaminate it, stunt it, influence it’s growth.

And here lies the difference between a living love and it’s other.  The process of sustaining a living love instinctually still remains after Susan has left but the fruit of my labor as harvested through my senses will never again be realized.  A perennial flower no longer will bloom.   This is my dynamic in grief.  Instinctually we still keep sharp the ability of our living love’s labors – our gardening skills, so to speak -- but yet at what purpose?  It is circular and maddening when in the throes of grief. 

Eventually, all the nourishment and the energy received from a living love is used up leaving you with a beautiful, glorious and magnetic thing . . . . a memory.  Millions of memories, a warehouse full of jewels.  A wealth beyond imagining that can never be spent or used to fuel the living love.  Rather it is the food of the other love.

We can survive on memories but it is just that . . . survival.  It is not life lived, ever changing, growing, learning.  But there is a danger with the food of this other love.  Initially, it does sustain.  Initially, you tend the garden instinctually of that of a living love.  Believing the jeweled memories are enough to sustain you forever.  For the older it does I suppose.  To browse through a lifetime of memories.  Their stockpiles from the harvest of the living love so large they would never run out.  They have but to pluck a jewel off the shelf and gaze at it awhile to pass the time.  Lovely.

Everyone’s stockpile is different.  Grief is unique to us all for that reason.  The process of grief is living off the stockpile of love you have harvested during your living love until it is gone.  Then you have to decide to find a precious source of water again so you can begin planting and using the gardening skills learned through a living love.  To bank the fruit derived from taste, touch, smell, sight and hearing.  To begin building the stockpiles again.

Lately, I wish there was an easy way to determine if my harvest is gone.  I wish I could look into the barn and see nothing remaining as a sign to pack up and look for a new well. 

For now though, I am enchanted by the emeralds, rubies, diamonds, pearls, sapphires  . . . .

Beautiful words..


Your reflections are very touching, Raymond. Peace to you on this anniversary day.

No words. Just tears. Pure beauty.


That was such a beautiful post.

I'm reading it on the eve of the 8th anniversary of my first husband's death.  I can tell you this, though.  I believe it is only you that can know the answer to the statement you pose below:

--- Quote from: Raymond on September 21, 2017, 08:01:06 AM ---Lately, I wish there was an easy way to determine if my harvest is gone.  I wish I could look into the barn and see nothing remaining as a sign to pack up and look for a new well. 

For now though, I am enchanted by the emeralds, rubies, diamonds, pearls, sapphires  . . . .

--- End quote ---

This is unique for each of us.  My own experiences with the loss of 2 husbands have been very different.  But...your sentiments tell me that you have the kind of awareness that will allow you to experience the richness of cherished memories and to be able to honor your late wife precisely as you should.  When you are ready for that well, you will know.  You will know.




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