How much loss can a heart take?
My cousin writes so eloquently about grieving the loss of her brother. Today she shared her thoughts about the instinct to guard herself from further loss, specifically the notion that the more people we love the more loss we can potentially suffer. She is not of the mind that this is the her intention, just an observation.
When we found that our family would be moving this spring, my daughter's first instinct was to not allow her friendships to develop further because deeper relationships would bring more sorrow when she left. Being fairly new in our church, it would have benn easier to just stop building relationships with the folks there if we were to leave them so soon. Embree has since embraced her relationships even more than before, as have we, and begun soaking in every sweet moment.
When we met some of our dearest friends two years ago, the husband in the couple was already ill with cancer. There was a fleeting moment when I wanted to guard my heart from the inevitable pain of befriending these people. He passed away on Valentine's Day, and our hearts are broken. The pain, though, is not of regret, but for the end of a meaningful, loving relationship that we allowed to develop despite the path down which it was headed.
There would be no pain if there were no brothers, no girlfriends, no neighbors to lose. Allowing these connections invites pain, but these are the only means of finding love and meaning in our lives. Would I do it over? YES! As a wise man (my husband) once said, "It hurts because it was good."
Thanks, Rhonda, for reminding me.