How could we have love without grief?
The US culture seems to suppress grief, take grief away, heal grief, get over grief, but think about love without grief.
Could we love someone if we didn’t grieve when they died?
No. We couldn’t. That wouldn’t be love. Or that would be the pale shadow of love, love without loss, love that turned from the grave and forgot.
We cannot love without grief, so we need to make room for grief. We need to stand by each other during grief. We need to help each other, be present, be there, say the wrong thing, say the right thing, say nothing and just give love.
Love builds the Taj Mahal. Love writes Rumi’s poems. Love is the memories of the person we loved, we tell our children about them, we hold them in our hearts.
Love loves without logic, without sense. Love in spite of alcohol, addiction, lies, how can a person love an abuser? They love the person, not the abuse. They love the person, not the actions, not when the alcohol takes over, when the meth takes over, when the oxycontin takes over. Love loves the whole person and grieves the damage.
Love and grief are intertwined, a rosebush with thorns, there is no one without the other. No joy without despair, no light without dark, no you without me, no joining without separation.
I enter grief as I enter love, whole heartedly, oh, I may be afraid of the dark but I go there anyhow, I know as the waves close over my head and I sink into the depths:
There is no love without grief.
The picture is my mother, Helen Burling Ottaway, in high school. She died of cancer in 2000 and I still miss her terribly.