Friday, November 7, 2014

The glorious ordinariness of love and grief

I'm going to tell you a secret, one I'm a little ashamed of. I thought Kevin and I were something special. That we built something just a little brighter than what I saw in many other couples. It was a wonderful secret to hold inside of me and treasure.

I'm not alone in this secret; you may feel that way about your love. And you should. Each love is amazing, wonderful, sacred but not any more unique than the love of the couple next to you. I am coming to treasure the very ordinariness of love and feel sad that we don't live in a culture that knows ordinariness can be a wonder.

We are surrounded by media (movies, books, art) full of big, dramatic Love. We can't help but yearn for something similar. We all want happily ever after which, according to lots of movies, books and art, means we will never again fart, have to wash the dishes, pay bills or get annoyed at our loved one. Once we realize that isn't true we still yearn for our own version of the Princess Bride. I don't think we can help it, we're taught that True Love is incredibly rare and makes the every day vanish.

As I talk with more and more people who have lost the love of their life, as I have lost mine, I become more and more certain that love is one of the glorious every day miracles. I listen to women who tell me their husbands were the most handsome, the smartest, the kindest, the funniest, the sexiest men who ever walked on this earth. They show me pictures and I am struck again and again at how very ordinary they seem to be. Yet it's true, they were the most handsome, smartest, kindest, funniest, sexiest men in their relationship. And each relationship is its own individual planet, its own place in the universe. In the broader context these men and relationships may have seemed ordinary, but to at least one person, they were everything.

And I think that's the glorious ordinary miracle of love. We transform those we love into the Handsome Prince, the Farm Boy who remains pure, the Princess whose nobility cannot be disguised by rags or dishes or laundry or even the occasional fart.

If Love is so gloriously ordinary, grief is too. Because most of us are able to love so deeply and so well that we transform the ordinary into the extraordinary, we also are able to grieve to a place beyond description. That, too, is an ordinary miracle; we love, we experience loss, but we still continue to love each other, as ordinary as we are. That's why I so resolutely believe that no grief supersedes another, we each can love miraculously, so too can we grieve beyond language. It is utterly every day. And utterly sacred.

Kevin and I were special. It's not a secret. Just as the specialness of all who love isn't a secret, nor should it be. I am so grateful that the world can hold this much love, this much pain and the hope for easier times ahead.

(32 weeks.
All told, I'd rather still have my secret and still and you.
I miss you. I love you.)

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License

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True Stories, Honest Lies by Laura S. Packer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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