The hardest job you could ever have is to allow yourself to truly love someone. This burdensome job lies in the hands of mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses, lovers, friends, grandparents– it lies in the hands of anyone who has ever allowed him or herself to love another person. When you love someone– and I’m talking about that deep unshakeable love that can’t be uprooted from the ground– it’s almost like you’re carving a part of yourself out and handing it to that other person. “Here- this is a part of me and I’m giving it to you to hold on to. You can do with it as you like, but I trust you completely and wholly. I trust that you’ll take care of it just like I’ll take what you can give me.” When you do this, that person is free to do whatever they want, but you can only hope that they love and nurture that part so the love you share can grow stronger and deeper.
There is one caveat, however. Once you give yourself, you can never get it back. You see, when you’re together, you don’t feel like you’re missing a part of yourself because when you’re together, you’re complete. But if that person or if life decides that it’s time to go, he or she leaves with a part of you in tow and you’re left with a part of yourself that’s gone forever.
Today, I attended the funeral of my uncle who passed away on Thursday last week. Today, I heard the cries of his three daughters and beloved wife. Today, I witnessed what it’s like to see someone with missing piece– someone who is physically altogether, but still not completely whole.
We are meant to be whole. When a piece goes missing, your body, your spirit, your mind cries out to be whole once again. You’re left carrying a part of someone who is no longer there as you yourself is broken. What makes life interesting is though that piece is gone forever, when you experience love again, that hole inside of you starts to fill with a new and different love. It’s not completely the same, but maybe that pain from the emptiness starts to dull, maybe this new love is filling you up again.
When you fall and scrape your knee, a piece of you is gone. Your skin is broken leaving you raw with your insides exposed to the world outside. But we are resilient. Our bodies have systems in place that kick into high gear during these times of duress. Platelets and clotting factors rush to the site of injury to seal the wound. You might have a scab or scar depending on how deep the wound was, but there are new cells that eventually seal the cut so you survive even a simple scrape on your knee. Just like how these cells come and help close the wound, I believe love and support can mend the emptiness of losing someone whether they walk out of your life or are forced out.
I know my aunt will grieve for her husband today and everyday for the rest of her life, but I pray that the love she shares with her kids, her grandchildren and future grandchildren fill her heart so she is whole once again.
I will carry the burden of love anywhere without distinction.
In honor of the greatest Sunday School teacher, Wilson Uncle. Rest in Paradise.