I watched an episode of Black Mirror last night that made me cry. Now, as far as Black Mirror reactions go, that isn't that unusual. However, this particular episode "Hang the DJ" was a (theoretically) happy and not terrifying one. So, why did I cry so darn much?
I think the weeping was a reaction to just how intense and meaningful human connection can be. Love is a deeply powerful force and this episode reminded me of that. It also brought to my awareness something that has been bubbling up ever since I started my private therapy practice a year ago; the price of love is grief, and the loss of love that brings grief is inevitable.
Or in simpler terms: all love results in heartbreak, all of it...and always. (and I am not just talking about romantic love here, I mean any kind of love or human connection...they all end eventually). There will be the loss, there will be the disappointment, there will be grief. Ugh!
I have been volunteering several hours a week at Hospice Austin's Bereavement Program; leading groups for loss as well as seeing individual clients who are working through grief. The stories I hear are an honor to witness and have taught me that love and grief are two sides of the same coin.
The amount you feel the loss is directly correlated to the amount of love and connection you shared with that other person.
So the more we love, the more we lose and the more it hurts. (I am sorry but, what a shitty system!)
Ugh, sometimes it is just SO much that I have to throw my arms up to the sky and wail. I wail for the unfairness of loss, for the depth of joy, for all the ways I feel when I love another person. How intense, how terrifying, how fundamentally beautiful.
So, then I take a deep breath and move into my thoughts. I ask myself...if the cost of love is grief, is it still worth it? I know how the horrible pain of grief hurts like a thousand arrows and never stops hurting, but is it still worth loving richly and deeply?
And the answer is...of course it is.
We have to choose love, because the other option is also costly. It is the closing down and walling up of our hearts. It is stillness and defense and denial. The other option is death or at least a sort of death. (again, what a shitty system!)
So, all of this meandering is to say; I wept last night because I know that I must always choose love. I must see the full cost of love and continue to choose it; day after day and night after night.
I know that all the love I feel for all the people (and animals) I love will eventually bring the worst pain imaginable, but I also know that it is always worth the price.
And thank goodness I also know, that it is okay to cry.