I have been thinking on this prompt for a few days and honestly it is hard for me. It brings up a lot of songs about break ups and it reminds me how many people in my life have left regardless of whether or not I begged them not to leave, whether through travel or death. It often feels the same.
I remember when my uncle moved away. He was like a dad as he was my neighbour when I grew up so he was always a second set of eyes and hands, showing me that men work hard to take care of their families, but then a few years ago he left after an ultimatum with his wife, she announced the house was for sale and she was moving out of province with or without him. He chose her and moving, and I really can’t punish him for making that sacrifice.
Yet in his leaving it was like he died.
I remember my Grandpa at the time getting old and a bit senile telling me that his son had died, then when I said he had just moved away he said “it hurts like he died”, as a tear rolled down his face. Heartbroken over so many losses in his life, broken by aging and being alone, and I could relate.
I could relate to things and people leaving too soon. Babies never making it past the first trimester, friends never making it past the first grade, cousins dying when then were only teens and me pulling away from life because everyone who I cared for left so it was easier for me to leave and not get hurt than it was for me to love and be the one shattered.
Now, I see that same trait in one of my children. So afraid of loss that they pull in tightly towards themselves, barely letting anyone in because if you let someone in you risk being hurt by them leaving. You risk a lot by loving.
Now that I am older I realize I would rather love and lose even though my heart continues to break than to be entirely alone, yet the people who I chose to love? They are long distance, far away, so if things don’t work out and they leave my life it isn’t a complete change. There is a hollow where they resided in my heart but my life can continue as normal.
I think if I really look back though I am the one who likely ends things or leaves first in most cases. It is just easier that way. I am learning and the love I receive as a result is beautiful.