“Perhaps the best tribute you can pay someone who dies is to share his belief in life by putting your life ahead of his death.” – Max Lerner
So, here’s the thing; we all die, but losing a loved one can almost kill us. When we care, we cannot think of life without that person.
No matter what went on before, the memories will linger and the good ones usually outweigh the bad ones. That’s what makes us sad,
There are all sorts of lost’ relationships. I will not talk about the loss of parents, friends, or even that horrible thought, children.
Here I will only address the loss of a lover. If the relationship was a long-term one there will be decades to go over. If shorter, there will be strong thoughts of what was and what might have been. If the ending was when things were going well that will leave little to regret. If not, there will be recriminations and sorrow over what should have been different.
There is that story of a long- term marriage that wasn’t so great. The couple decides to go away for the weekend and maybe patch things up. They go to a romantic hotel and as they walk in they see a wishing well. With that the husband throws in a coin. The wife follows and when she leans over to throw in her coin she falls and hits her head, so badly she dies instantly. The husband then turns to a man next to him saying, “I’ll be damned… this thing really works!” Yes, some people do wish others were in fact dead.
In a good connection, however, the loss due to death is fraught with overwhelming grief. If the partner suffered or had a debilitating or long illness, death can be seen as a good escape from pain. If it is sudden and unexpected death the shock can take a long time to incorporate or even believe.
There are many, ‘what ifs’ in almost every death. History is replete with lovers killing themselves when a loved one dies. In parts of the world historically and even today wives are killed when their husband dies. How’s that playing out in your head? You can try to help yourself in any variety of ways but drugs, alcohol, and being busy may not ‘cut’ it in the short term. Only time will help heal.
All we have is the here and now. All we have are other relationships. You must try to ‘talk’ to yourself. You can remember this is now and that was then.
One person I know said she kept forcing herself to think of Elizabeth Taylor and what she went through when Richard Burton left her the final time.