Thursday, September 19, 2013

Love and Loss

As newborns we have no way of measuring, in spite of great strides in medicine, machines and psychiatry, what, if any, feelings we have.

As young children – my vast recollections – we are happy as long as our basic necessities are met and we feel loved.

Life continues usually without a ripple through those preadolescent years: most memories are positive, family occasions and events, even the past’s “daily” remembrances are usually without sorrow.

As teenagers we feel pretty invincible and most are lucky enough to know no great loss: tragedies at this age usually involve not getting the date you wanted, or the grade, or the friends. We are pretty self-centered: this is perhaps a good thing as it shelters us from the realities of many lives.

I was particularly privileged in that my first great loss, that of a favorite aunt, happened at age 32: I was married, had a child, both my parents were still alive as well as all my siblings: many, including my own children, are not so protected.

Much has been written about which losses are worst so I won’t delve into that, it is all personal in any case as well as being dependent upon one’s own set of criteria: age, type of relationship, type of death, etc.

One loss, however, that has been difficult for me, is that of my little sister, Pat, a year ago today.  To watch someone you love die slowly of cancer is never pleasant, but when it is someone younger than yourself, it just adds to the ache.

However, and this is where the love comes in: she was loved by many and is still remembered. This helps mitigate the pain: what better goal to aspire to, than that of being remembered with love; of having a smile cross the face of those who think of you; of being important enough to those left behind that they think of you with positivity. One’s life has not been in vain, if even one person misses you and remembers you with fondness: we should all be so lucky!

So, little sis, RIP you still live on in the hearts of those who loved you.

Love is timeless
L’Amour est intemporel
Liebe ist Zeitlos

Patricia J. Aitken, 1956 - 4