“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”—Kahlil Gibran
First of all, I must say that love never really goes away. Your feelings about someone can change or someone can change how they feel about you. Someone may move away from you. A relationship may end or, worse, someone that you love may die. But love itself never dies. When that love you once enjoyed with a person is not longer available to you, it feels as though part of you, that fire within you somehow has been snuffed out.
The very breath you take in to keep you alive and to calm you just isn’t enough to quell the sadness, the feeling of emptiness left in the quake of your world being turned upside down. Questions come like tormentors snapping at your heels and clawing at your already shredded heart. What could I have done differently? Could I have done more? Why did this happen to me or (in some cases) why does this keep happening to me? And you cry or scream or smash something depending upon the severity of the loss, because it is too great to push down for long.
In any kind of case of severance between two people, there is an emptiness; there is grief to some degree; there can be anger; there can be disbelief and resistance to what is; there can be a part of you that wants to try to bargain for a different or better outcome. There is a complete change in your life and circumstances as that chapter of you life the way you knew it begins to transform into something completely different.
Each time it happened to me, and I knew that my life was going to change drastically, (indeed it had already changed to some degree) I did not want to go onto the “next” chapter when the last one was ending. During those times, I was usually dragged kicking and screaming into the space between chapters where I regrouped, re-organized, then finally accepted what was. Then I could start making small steps towards the next chapter of my life. Was it easy? No. How long did it take each time there was a shift in my life? It varied. No one ever knows how long these things will take. Was it one step, pass the test, go to the next and the next and the next? No. Each day was different. Sometimes it was a giant step forward or one backward. Sometimes I thought I was not to live through the pain. Sometimes I thought I would die. But all along there was a glimmer of hope, a desire to get through it all and to move into the new space. There was enough of that spark of hope and desire, to make it happen. The very love that I had within me, the love with which I had loved the person I lost was my saving grace.
When tragedy of any kind enters into a life, people can stop living, they live but very unhappily, or they keep on moving on. They can let go of what was and they can seek a new life. Those who can make that choice to go on will step bravely into that new and unexplored chapter, and find a lot of challenges. They do, however, learn a lot, they grow, they expand, and they begin to make choices but most of all, they breathe and keep on going and they take love with them. Love never goes away.