Recently, a number of my friends have lost a loved one. Whether it be a grandparent, parent or the person they fell in love with and with me truly empathizing, my observations with a very keen eye began once more. I even began assessing my own capacity to love.
Most of the time, I do not bat an eyelash about not knowing my three deceased grandparents and barely knowing the one alive who abandoned my mother months after her birth. She did this to live down the shame associated with having multiple children with different men in Caribbean society and fled to England to start a whole new life, pretending the last was a mere dream: cruel, but understandable.
But then there are times that I am really bothered by not knowing them. I have no stories to tell, no traditions they passed on to me directly, no laughs together nor accounts of their reprimands done in love and concern. I know not their mannerisms, tendencies, habits or how my body reacts to the warmth of theirs.
But with love, comes that which consumes us with joy and contentment… and that which breeds pain and contempt. Ying and Yang. Love says boldly, “take all of me, or none of me”.
As cliché as it must sound, our lives are a puzzle. As we embark an its trail set before us, often times detouring and making a new trail where there was none, we traverse through its obstacles and experiences, we are rewarded with another piece to the puzzle which we must fit in at its corresponding and appropriate spot and ultimately, at the end, we can take a step back, observe, and see what our lives really meant, see our purpose. As our purpose is not an “is” but a “was”. It cannot be predicted. We do not discover it at the beginning of this journey when we are pushed out of our homes that once cradled us in supportive fluid, but when we are to return. Then do we see our impact on the secular. What our purpose was. Love love and all that comes with it, or live with a puzzle piece missing. Live with a “if only…then I’d be able to fill this spot with a puzzle piece, fulfil my purpose in its entirety.”
For those who love chose, a glorious beginning was experienced, as well as a less than exciting end. Once we have felt love’s touch, it pulls something out of you, a feeling you become attached to, something that seems impossible to part from. Many become angry and full of resentment at times, that it is not our choice to keep while others accept its farewell softly, without resistance, but filled with sorrow nevertheless. But unfortunately we cannot put order to what we did not choose. It applies to true intimate love, as well as genuine platonic love. The parting of grandparents or the estrangement of friends can sometimes hurt as much as separation from a soul mate. But never is a soul mate, a “the”, unless we choose it to be. It is possible to love intimately, twice in a lifetime, contrary to popular belief. A devoted wife, now a widow finds another who does not replace her last love, but fulfils that which is required of the second, and that’s perfectly fine. Here we choose to accept love after it has chosen us. With a family member though, it becomes a bit more convoluted. How do we manufacture blood really?
I wish love chose me. As simple as this sounds, I wish I knew my grandparents. I wish I felt love’s embrace in heritage. But I am happy for those who did and will hope to gain a puzzle piece through them, live through their experiences.
I say Rejoice in the time you had with love. Thank the God, the Giver of Love, Love Himself, for the way he allowed you to feel him and resolve that it actually does not end, but it is transferred to another realm, a different form. Adele, my darling, you’re ex-lover missed the mark: In true love, All times, it lasts in love, and in all instances, it eventually hurts. Accept both.