I wonder if much of a person’s fear or hesitation to love is really just an attempt to avoid the pain of loss. Amputations hurt so much because of how attached we are to the members of our body. Death is so painful to those who remain because of how connected we become to our dearest friends and family. Where there is no love—no attachment or connection—there can be no loss. And yet, to have no love at all is a loss of a different sort.
My greatest pain came when my mother died. It was the abrupt amputation of a defining family member. My parents were my portal into the world and both literally and figuratively taught me how to walk through life—how to enjoy its beauties, survive its challenges, and find answers to its questions. To loose my mother—one of my two parental pillars—was like loosing a leg or half the earth I stood upon. At first life made no sense without her. In fact, the moment my mother died, life itself seemed impossible.