From Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam:27, 1850:
I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
And when you lose, do you lose it all… or do you keep some?
Do you break all contact? Or do you keep in touch? Is the former a sign of maturity… or is it the latter? Does keeping in touch means one is not really ready to move on, to lose?
We have spent so many great moments together, but it is time to part. We shall each go our own separate ways. We will live, we will love, we will hurt, we will cry… and we will meet again. By that time, I will not know who you are, just like you won’t know who I am…. We will smile at each other, not knowing what to say, we will make small talk, we will discuss the weather and share rudimentary observations about the situation in which our paths have crossed again. We will ask each other what we have been up to all this time, we will share our success and maybe we will scratch the surface of how we really are, how we really feel, how we have really been all this time. The person before you used to be everything at one time, and now, while talking, you see that somewhere, very deep inside, that person is still there. A small, almost imperceptible shine in the eyes, a smile in the corner of the lips, and that hand tweak that you did not know you still remembered…. But then it is gone. You smile, shake hands and go your own separate ways. Till the next time you meet. You have loved and you have lost.
But how can you stop seeing that person day in and day out? You have loved and you have lost, you can both move on, you can both live your lives, and you can do that in close proximity of each other. You cannot imagine life without the other one in it, and after all, why should you? Yes, you have had your divergences, but in the end you have worked them out, there are no hurt feelings and you just do not want to lose that person from your life. And remember that you planned to go on that trip with friends, and you really cannot cancel? You would be disappointing so many people if you suddenly decided not to go, why should others be so affected by your personal life? You are both intelligent adults, you have talked about it and decided that yes, you will try to be just friends – just for a while, and see how that goes. In some time, if things do not work out, if there is too much resentment or hurt on either side, if there is any hint of tension in the air, you promise that if the other one does not take the step, you will be the strong one and will walk away. And by then, at least you will have the peace of mind that you have tried. In the meantime, you will no longer be life partners, but you will still rely on eachother for the small things – after all, one does not go from everything to something just like that. And then, as time passes, you get used to the new status quo; at one point or another, you will each find your own happiness, independent of each other… but still in close proximity. You have loved and you have lost, but you have not lost it all. You have loved… but have you lost? You go by your lives, you laugh, you spend time together, you grow… you love. Because one probably never stops loving, one just stops expressing it in the form of kisses and life plans together. You may both then find other life partners, and you are happy, genuinely happy… and still together. Because you have loved. And you still do.