When I talk about unrequited love, most of you probably think about romantic love, but there are many other kinds of love that are not adequately returned, if they are returned at all. An angry adolescent may not love her mother back as her mother loves her; an abusive father doesn't return the innocent open love of his young child. But grief is the ultimate unrequieted love. However hard and however long we love someone who has died, they can never love us back. At least that is how it feels...
I remembered back to leo's burial and holding your hand. I was eleven and you were six, your hand soft and small in mine. As the vicar said 'in sure and certain hope of the resurrection of eternal life' you turned to me, 'I don't want sure and certain hope I want sure and certain Bee.
Usually time alters and affects everything, but when someone you love dies time cannot change that, no amount of time will ever change that, so time stops having any meaning.
Your coffin reached the monstrous hole. And a part of me went down into the muddy earth with you and lay down next to you and died with you.
When someone dies they can be any age you remember can't they ' she asked. As I tried to think of a reply she continued 'You probably think about the grown-up Tess because you were still close to her. But when I woke up I thought of her when she was three wearing a fairy skirt I'd got her in the Woolworth's and a policeman's helmet. Her wand was a wooden spoon. On the bus yesterday I imagined holding her when she was two days old. I felt the warmth of her. I remembered all her fingers clasped around my finger so tiny they didn't even meet. I remembered the shape of her head and stroking the nape of her neck till she slept. I remembered her smell. She smelled of innocence. Other times she's thirteen and so pretty that I worry for her everytime I see a man look at her. All of those Tesses is my daughter.
For a moment amongst the crowd, I saw you. I've since found out it's common for people separated from someone they love to keep seeing that loved one amongst strangers; something to do with recognition units in our brain being too heated and too easily triggered. This cruel trick of the mind lasted only a few moments, but was long enough to feel with physical force how much I needed you.
Things are embarrassing, best to avoid them. But since your death I prefer a naturalist style of conversation. Let's strip it down to what matters. Let's have emotions and beliefs on show without the modest covering of small talk.
Your paintings are staggeringly beautiful. Did I ever tell you that,or was I just too concerned that you weren't going to earn a living? I know the answer...I worried that the paint was so thickly applied that it might snap off and ruin someone's carpet, rather than realizing that you'd made color itself tactile.
Our mind is who we are; it’s where we feel and think and believe. It’s where we have love and hate and faith and passion.’ I was getting a little embarrassed by your earnestness but you continued, ‘How can someone hope to treat another person’s mind unless they are also a theologian and a philosopher and a poet?
I wanted to make him understand that we shared the details of our lives, because they were the threads that braided us so closely together. And you would have been certain to tell me about a Sabatier knife, because it would have had the rare value of being a detail in your life which tied directly into mine - Bee in Sister
My job isn't to go around judging people. Priests are meant to teach love and forgiveness. That to me is the essence of being a Christian. And trying to find that love and forgiveness in ourselves and others every day should be a challenge that we want to achieve.
It makes the other one more precious and also not enough. We have to try to fill not only our own boots but other people's too - yours, Leo's, Dad's. We have to expand at the moment we feel the most shrunk.
A selfish person can still love someone else, can't they? Even when they've hurt them and let them down.
But grief is the ultimate unrequited love. However hard and long we love someone who has died, they can never love us back. At least that is how it feels...
Grief is the ultimate unrequited love. However hard and long we love someone who has died, they can never love us back. At least that is how it feels....
...grief is loved turned into an eternal missing. ...It can't be contained in hours or days or minutes.
She'd been cross so much of the time and often about small things. Looking back at herself, she thought that her crossness was like a shapeless overcoat, covering loneliness, and it wasn't the old loneliness she'd felt after her mother died, or even an adult version of it, but something different and more punishing.
Surely a good therapist should produce a Dorian Gray-style portrait from under the couch so the patient can see the person they really are.
And imagine acquiring a new language and only learning the words to describe a wonderful world, refusing to know the words for a bleak one and in doing so linguistically shaping the world that you inhabit.
But my lazy lack of faith, my in-vogue atheism, has taken away the safety net hanging beneath our children's lives.
I get up and pace the room, as if I can leave my guilt behind me. But it tracks me as I walk, an ugly shadow made by myself.
For years I had a fantasy of a happy-ever-after ending. The first night I spent at the university my fantasy ended, because I thought a happy-ever-after was pointless. Because with my father I didn't want to hope for a happy ending but to have had a happy beginning. I wanted to have been looked after by Daddy in childhood, not finding resolution with my father as an adult.
But, astonishingly, I'm not broken. I'm not destroyed. Terrified witless, shaking, retching with fear, yes. But no longer insecure. Because during my search for how you died, I somehow found myself to be a different person. ... Living my life. And it wouldn't be my grief for you that toppled the mountain, but love.
However hard and however long we love someone who has died, they can never love us back. At least that is how it feels...
I don't believe outstandingly beautiful and charismatic women create obsession in what would otherwise be normal men, but rather they attract the weirdos and the stalkers; flames in the darkness that these disturbing people inhabit, unwittingly drawing them closer until they extinguish the very flame they were drawn to.