You know how people say, “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all…” From my childhood it never made sense to me. But then I thought it was because I had never truly loved before. I figured I’d let time be my friend and teach me the hard lessons that are always better learnt the easy way.
I am not a child anymore and I have revisited that adage only to find that I have the same gut reaction to it. It makes no sense to me. Whether I have loved, truly loved, in the romantic sense of the term, may be up for debate, but that I love my parents and my siblings, of that I am certain! I have not lost my family to death but to distance. And for the pain that separation brings I cannot agree with that phrase!
You know what is better? It is better to have loved!
I could not allow myself to love if there were no possibility of never losing. Loving only makes sense if there is a hope of loving forever. Can anyone who loves tell me that while they are loving they think, “well, I may lose you but at least I loved you for a bit.” No! Of course not. While you are loving you think and say, “I’m yours forever,” “together forever,” “I will always love you!” Love does not want to lose. And that is the right estate of things.
In our hearts it only makes sense to love if there is hope of eternity or else our love is all vanity. It is not consolation enough for me to say that it is better to love and lose. It is not better. At least on the experiential level, it is a waste to love and lose. Love is an eternal investment. Without the hope of being able to love forever, it is better never to love.
The hope of a life eternal resonates with our experience of love. The very fact that we love and the nature of love demands hope for heaven. Death is no loss if it is but a sleep to be awakened from at the trumpet’s sound. No matter how often we repeat that it is “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all,” our hearts will always reject the memo. They cry out “Nay, it is better to love forever and never lose;” that’s what’s better!