“I love you so much, it hurts.” It’s something that I’ve heard throughout my life. But what does that really mean? How is it possible to love someone in such a way that it causes you pain? When I stop and think about it though, it makes perfect sense.
I loved Dad so much, that when he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, it broke me apart inside. I cared so deeply that watching him endure treatments caused me intense agony. I treasured him, causing inexplicable anxiety when it was time for his quarterly scans. I loved him so much, it hurt.
October 15 marks four years since I lost my father. The pain of loving and losing him follows me each and every day. It’s a feeling that never fades, but is sometimes overshadowed by the life continuing on around me. You can’t escape the hurt of such a profound loss… but do you really want to?
This must seem like a terrible question to pose. Do you want the pain of losing someone you love to go away? Of course, you don’t want to feel it forever in the same way you do the moment you hear the news. You don’t want to be crippled by it. At the same time, you don’t want to forget it. That pain means that someone touched your life, touched your heart. It shows that they truly meant something to you.
Each time I start to feel that pain, I stop to think of the reason behind it. I feel sadness and grief because I loved someone, and they loved me. I have an aching in my heart because, even though there is a piece missing, it was occupied by a person who believed in me and lifted me up. The tears I cry are shed for a purpose, I miss someone who shaped me. What a blessing to have had someone like that in my life.
I loved… no, I love my Dad so much, it hurts. Putting a past tense on that feeling seems wrong in some way. Just because he is no longer here with me, doesn’t lessen who he was as a person or the impact he had on me. He lived by example, a beautiful trait that I hope to pass on with my daughter. He carried himself with grace and humility, even while carrying a cross as heavy as his disease. He loved so much, it hurt… I am grateful to have been a recipient of such a love.