What Does Love Have to Do With It?

BY: Judy Beckman, MA, LSW, CT

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”-Morrie Schwartz

What DOES love have to do with it? Is love a second-hand emotion, as the Tina Turner song says?  Love is at the root of our feelings when someone we love dies.  The death of a loved one elicits feelings of sadness, anger, guilt and a myriad of other emotions.  We yearn for the physical presence that is no longer available.  Some of us wish that we were no longer present in this life—our hearts are shattered, and we fear that we will never be able to put the pieces back together. We may ask ourselves, “is love worth it?”

While no one can answer that question for another, I believe that the memories of love can help to heal a broken heart.  These memories can aid us in having a continued relationship with our loved one who has died as well as open our hearts for a more loving relationship with ourselves and others. We can even use our loving memories to enhance our lives and to create the greatest legacy of all—the legacy of love.

I often must remind myself that the reason I feel immense sadness when I lose someone in my life is because I love them and have felt love from them. While we do the difficult work of grief, we can remind ourselves that the reason we are in so much pain is because we love. Sometimes, simply recognizing that love is at root of our mourning can help lessen the intensity of the pain and sadness we experience.

We don’t stop loving someone because they have died. And yes, it does hurt to love and lose, but where would we be without love? How do we get to a place where love takes over? Many of us who work in the grief field have come to believe that there are ways to learn to live with the pain of loss so that love can once more be available to us once again.  Some ideas are:

•    Talk with others in a support group or with our friends and family.
•    Create ways to honor our loved one’s life.
•    Reach out to help others.  
•    Share our memories of love through telling our stories again and again.
•    Continue to learn about the connections between love and loss.

And remember - that what love has to do with it is EVERYTHING!


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