Grief is the price we pay for love, quoth Queen Elizabeth II (and she definitely knows grief). You love, you lose, you grieve, you swear you’ll never love again, you love more. You’re human and without love, you’re not human anymore. Inhuman and inhumane, in fact. Plenty of people suffer loss after loss after loss; the losses shock and hurt you. They empty you out and hit your heart like a ten ton truck. Sometimes you just wait, surrounded by the shrapnel of your entire life and your being. Sometimes everything hurts, sometimes nothing touches you at all. Sometimes you rage and despair. Sometimes your soul shakes and then tightens into the foetal position.
(I don’t give a fuck about the queen tbh.)
It isn’t limited to distance and death – it can be unrequited or impossible too. But we love regardless, we love because we know how much the absence of love hurts. We love when we are wounded and when we are whole, and we love our way back to either or both of those states too. We love naturally, we love when we know we shouldn’t. We just love.
You don’t need sad streets for grief, you can feel your heart shatter into a thousand pieces in paradise. Distraction helps, until you begin to wonder where you lost yourself, and then you grieve again. And so you must grieve and grieve and feel your way through your own gasping veins. You must grieve, not until you get over it or through it. You must grieve until you gentle your grief, tame it. Eventually, you will be friends with it, because it reminds you of the worth of what you lost and the fierce nature of love. Grief opens distance and love closes it, but without the journey, what are you?
If you don’t love, or can’t, or won’t, you betray your own humanity and stunt your world. If you cause damage in the name of love, you betray love. When somebody hurts you so badly that you stop feeling and stop loving, it’s lonely and bewildering. When love returns, the hurt heals fast. Loving enough to let go is devastation of the soul, but it pares away pretence, and the lonely flame of the love that it grows is intricate and shining.
Love is instinct. Its a beautiful bruise. Loss isn’t the opposite of love, it is its twin. Love, babies, and grieve too. Both mean that youre alive.