If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.
From childhood's hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone. And all I loved, I loved alone.
You’ll get over it…” It’s the clichés that cause the trouble. To lose someone you love is to alter your life for ever. You don’t get over it because ‘it” is the person you loved. The pain stops, there are new people, but the gap never closes. How could it? The particularness of someone who mattered enough to grieve over is not made anodyne by death. This hole in my heart is in the shape of you and no-one else can fit it. Why would I want them to?
My sister will die over and over again for the rest of my life. Grief is forever. It doesn't go away; it becomes a part of you, step for step, breath for breath. I will never stop grieving Bailey because I will never stop loving her. That's just how it is. Grief and love are conjoined, you don't get one without the other. All I can do is love her, and love the world, emulate her by living with daring and spirit and joy.
We are all the pieces of what we remember. We hold in ourselves the hopes and fears of those who love us. As long as there is love and memory, there is no true loss.
When You Are OldWHEN you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep; How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face; And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
You never knew the last time you were seeing someone. You didn't know when the last argument happened, or the last time you had sex, or the last time you looked into their eyes and thanked God they were in your life.After they were gone?That was all you thought about.Day and night.
It’s the same with people who say, ‘Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ Even people who say this must realize that the exact opposite is true. What doesn’t kill you maims you, cripples you, leaves you weak, makes you whiny and full of yourself at the same time. The more pain, the more pompous you get. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you incredibly annoying.
Never give all the heart, for loveWill hardly seem worth thinking ofTo passionate women if it seemCertain, and they never dreamThat it fades out from kiss to kiss;For everything that's lovely isBut a brief, dreamy, kind delight.O Never give the heart outright,For they, for all smooth lips can say,Have given their hearts up to the play.And who could play it well enoughIf deaf and dumb and blind with love?He that made this knows all the cost,For he gave all his heart and lost.
He came up and kissed me on my forehead, and before he stepped away, I closed my eyes and tried hard to memorize this moment. I wanted to remember him exactly as he was right then, how his arms looked brown against his white shirt, the way his hair was cut a little too short in the front. Even the bruise, there because of me.Then he was gone.Just for that moment, the thought that I might never see him again… it felt worse than death. I wanted torun after him. Tell him anything, everything. Just don’t go. Please just never go. Please just always be near me, so I can at least see you.Because it felt final. I always believed that we would find our way back to each other every time. That no matter what, we would be connected—by our history, by this house. But this time, this last time, it felt final. Like I would never see him again, or that when I did, it would be different, there would be a mountain between us.I knew it in my bones. That this time was it. I had finally made my choice, and so had he. He let me go. I was relieved, which I expected. What I didn’t expect was to feel so much grief.
Depression is the flaw in love. To be creatures who love, we must be creatures who can despair at what we lose, and depression is the mechanism of that despair.
That was the only time, as I stood there, looking at that strange rubbish, feeling the wind coming across those empty fields, that I started to imagine just a little fantasy thing, because this was Norfolk after all, and it was only a couple of weeks since I’d lost him. I was thinking about the rubbish, the flapping plastic in the branches, the shore-line of odd stuff caught along the fencing, and I half-closed my eyes and imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up, and I was now standing here in front of it, and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field, and gradually get larger until I'd see it was Tommy, and he'd wave, maybe even call. The fantasy never got beyond that --I didn't let it-- and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn't sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.
She’s kept her love for him as alive as the summer they first met. In order to do this, she’s turned life away. Sometimes she subsists for days on water and air. Being the only known complex life-form to do this, she should have a species named after her. Once Uncle Julian told me how the sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti said that sometimes just to paint a head you have to give up the whole figure. To paint a leaf, you have to sacrifice the whole landscape. It might seem like you’re limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky.My mother did not choose a leaf or a head. She chose my father. And to hold on to a certain feeling, she sacrificed the world.
I hold it true, whate'er befall;I feel it when I sorrow most;'Tis better to have loved and lostThan never to have loved at all.
She imagines him imagining her. This is her salvation.In spirit she walks the city, traces its labyrinths, its dingy mazes: each assignation, each rendezvous, each door and stair and bed. What he said, what she said, what they did, what they did then. Even the times they argued, fought, parted, agonized, rejoined. How they’d loved to cut themselves on each other, taste their own blood. We were ruinous together, she thinks. But how else can we live, these days, except in the midst of ruin?
I missed you, Angel. Not one day went by that I didn't feel you missing from my life. You haunted me to the point that I began to believe Hank had gone back on his oath and killed you. I couldn't escape you and I didn't want to. You tortured me, but it was better than losing you.
Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power ... that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.
If you didn't remember something happening, was it because it never had happened? Or because you wished it hadn't?
A man always finds it hard to realize that he may have finally lost a woman's love, however badly he may have treated her.
And when she at last came out, her eyes were dry. Her parents stared up from their silent breakfast at her. They both started to rise but she put a hand out, stopped them. ‘I can care for myself, please,’ and she set about getting some food. They watched her closely. In point of fact, she had never looked as well. She had entered her room as just an impossibly lovely girl. The woman who emerged was a trifle thinner, a great deal wiser, and an ocean sadder. This one understood the nature of pain, and beneath the glory of her features, there was character, and a sure knowledge of suffering. She was eighteen. She was the most beautiful woman in a hundred years. She didn’t seem to care. ‘You’re all right?’ her mother asked. Buttercup sipped her cocoa. ‘Fine,’ she said. ‘You’re sure?’ her father wondered. ‘Yes,’ Buttercup replied. There was a very long pause. ‘But I must never love again.’ She never did.
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...
The practice of love offers no place of safety. We risk loss, hurt, pain. We risk being acted upon by forces outside our control.
Ten long trips around the sun since I last saw that smile, but only joy and thankfulness that on a tiny world in the vastness, for a couple of moments in the immensity of time, we were one.
Losing you is most difficult for me, but the nature of my love for you is what matters. If it distorts into half-truth, then perhaps it is better not to love you. I must keep my mind but loose you.
think when it's all over it just comes back in flashes, you know? It's like a kaleidoscope of memories; it just all comes back. But he never does. I think part of me knew the second I saw him that this would happen. It's not really anything he said, or anything he did ― it was the feeling that came along with it. Crazy thing is, I don't know if I'm ever going to feel that way again. But I don't know if I should. I knew his world moved too fast and burned too bright, but I just thought, 'How can the devil be pulling you toward someone who looks so much like an angel when he smiles at you?' Maybe he knew that when he saw me. I guess I just lost my balance. I think that the worst part of it all wasn't losing him. It was losing me.
Depression isn't a war you win. It's a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest. It's one bloody fray after another.
So I learned two things that night, and the next day, from him: the perfection of a moment, and the fleeting nature of it.
To whom could I put this question (with any hope of an answer)? Does being able to live without someone you loved mean you loved her less than you thought...?
Every morning, I wake up and forget just for a second that it happened. But once my eyes open, it buries me like a landslide of sharp, sad rocks. Once my eyes open, I'm heavy, like there's to much gravity on my heart.
It’s not that we have to quit this life one day, it’s how many things we have to quit all at once: holding hands, hotel rooms, music, the physics of falling leaves, vanilla and jasmine, poppies, smiling, anthills, the color of the sky, coffee and cashmere, literature, sparks and subway trains... If only one could leave this life slowly!