When the “Bill” Becomes Due for Love
By Bernadette A. Moyer
All of our relationships end one day, they leave or they die but sooner or later the “bill” becomes due on what our relationships cost. Just weeks ago a dear friend lost her childhood friend of more than 50 years. They have a huge amount of history and in her death my friend is “paying” for all that love and friendship. She misses her friend terribly. You don’t replace or make up for a 50 year history with anyone.
When we marry we state “until death do us part” and sooner or later when death arrives we will fully understand that statement. In marriage we build a life with our partner and often we can’t imagine our lives without them. We want more. Few people are really ready to lose a life partner unless they have been ill for some time and death is viewed as merciful. There is a price to be paid for the love and often it is paid in our grief and the void that a lost spouse and life partner and loved ones leave with us.
People leave our lives and sometimes it is a good thing as it frees us up for other people to enter our lives. Sometimes departure creates an opportunity to learn and to grow again.
To love any living being is to open up our hearts as we give, we engage, we invest and we relate. We were the parents that were invested in our children. You don’t get that back, the years and years of giving and the huge investment of time and treasure to love a child. When I remember my husband with his twins, I remember the time and the energy and the commitment he gave to love and care for them. He never missed a soccer game or a scouting event. When they weren’t driving and took on pool jobs he became a pool operator so that he could work with them. After a crazy busy work week he would give up his weekends to be with them. His actions in being there for them showed his love.
Most widows understand in their grief and in their loss that loving another comes with a price and one day that “bill” becomes due for love. Love is costly and yet a life without love isn’t really worth living.
I love many people and I love many things. I invest my time and I care for them and about them. We love our dogs, they bring us joy. But they are work and a commitment and come with their own costs. In a few days one of our dogs will require surgery. It is costly but the expense is even greater in the love and the care we expend for her. One day, we know and we hope it won’t come for many more years we will lose her too. The average age for a dog of her breeding is 15-17 years. She is 5 now. One day we know that we will feel the loss that she leaves us with when her time comes. Yet we love her so much, she is such a big part of our lives.
A colleague and friend suddenly passed away after Christmas and before New Year’s this past year. No one expected him to die. The void he will leave is tremendous. He was loved by many. The cost of knowing him and loving him will be felt by the many voids that he leaves behind. When someone is so full of life, you can’t imagine that they could ever die and yet they do.
When parents give life to their children they can’t imagine a life that doesn’t include them, we imagine our children are forever. It has been said that there is no greater loss, pain and heartache than when a parent loses a child. Loving a child is the most pure form of love. A love where we give and we give. When that love is lost by death or by departure we feel that void. The paycheck we experienced was in the relationship and the “bill” often comes to us when the relationship is over. We pay with our grief and we pay with the huge voids they leave in our lives.
We cry and we grieve for ourselves because so often we are selfish and we want more, yet every relationship is a gift. In the relationships that make us feel good and alive we want more of them. To love is to be courageous; it takes courage to open ourselves up and to love. We risk it all never fully appreciating the cost until it is over and it ends. Yet we know that in life everything has a beginning, middle and an ending. We know going in that one day it will end.
Love is fragile and it can be broken, love can also be mended and repaired. Real love never dies it may transform us and take on a new shape or new look but it lives on inside of us forever. Love as much as you can and love as often as you can for in this lifetime regardless of the cost and even when the “bill” comes due, love is the only thing that truly matters and has any lasting value. And love is always worth the price, no matter the cost.