Sometimes, I don’t think I can do it. This love thing. It’s too hard. Because, like most things in my life, if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it wholeheartedly, pun intended. I’ve never been one for half-assing anything, so – as with just about everything – I figure that if I’m going to do it, I may as well do it right.
Which is what makes it so hard.
I’ve been very lucky in my life in that I’ve not lost many loved ones. Yes, I’ve said goodbye to two grandfathers, one grandmother, a great aunt, a great uncle, and two great-grandparents, but – amazingly, given their ages – it wasn’t until college that I had to deal with the harsh reality of death. The thought of losing other people that I love – my mother, my father, my friends, even (don’t laugh) my animals – makes me almost sick to my stomach. I don’t think I can bear it.
Loving is frightening on so many levels – what if it’s unrequited? What if you get hurt? What if it ends? The scariest part of it, to me, is the latter, especially if it ends with death. The thought of giving myself so fully to other people that will inevitably leave me makes me almost want to avoid it altogether. Though death is a certainty, it seems to much for any person to bear.
And yet there’s really no other choice – we can’t cocoon ourselves, hiding away from the world out of fear. We have to appreciate the time we do have, prepare for the future, the unexpected, and open ourselves up to the possiblity of love despite the pain. It’s while knowing this that I still feel a pre-emptory sense of melancholy, already lamenting days to come, when I hear this song:
She says if I leave before you darling
Don’t you waste me in the ground
I lay smiling like our sleeping children
One of us will die inside these arms
Eyes wide open
Naked as we came
One will spread our
Ashes round the yard