Love, loss and the life journey

A friend shared the following photo of a Persian calligraphy on Facebook. It reads something like: “This is how life goes: one day you love someone, and the next day you are alone and lonely. That simple.”

A few commented on it admiring it with comments like “love it”, “beautiful”, “sad but true”. Someone however disagreed saying that “The next day you are not alone…you have a mountain of memories, lessons, shared experiences and love still with you, regardless of that person’s physical existence.”

Well said, I thought. Despite its apparent beauty in terms of being a decent piece of Persian calligraphy (an artistic work), it is a negative and self-victimizing statement. It is over-simplified and shallow, though in the surface it may sound true. Yes, you may lose a loved one for whatever reason, and then be alone and feel lonely as a result. But the experience of that love stays with you, and because of that experience you are no longer the same person. As the famous anonymous quote goes, “It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved.”

In general, life is not about an end (past certain milestones like various graduations, professional achievement, parenthood, etc), as the ultimate end is death — non-discriminating and for all. Rather, it is about the journey, and the human experience along the way. So enjoy the ride while it lasts. Now this for many may sound like a cliche. You’ve heard it, you know it, etc. But in practice it is hard to live by. Experiencing joy and being happy is hard work. I for one am very bad at it.

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