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Rebecca Carpenter Photography Vicky-56.j

To loss and heartache

It aches to lose someone who has chosen to leave you, in a way I can’t describe.

I long to feel those emotions others freely express out of grief and sadness. Forever remembered feelings of love and connection in memory of those who have gone.

Abandonment and chosen rejection hurts in a heart ripping way that I am certain it never would to lose someone who you know didn’t want to go. I imagine that feeling to be like a soothing tonic in the chasm left within your heart. Painful, aching, gigantic, yet soothed by the knowledge of their love still existing, even through death.

My heart chasm is raw and exposed, even after more than a decade. The tonic I find to heal it is made from my own love and joy. I have spent a lifetime creating and nourishing a well for that love, so that I never have to find myself in short supply again.

To those who are hurting from the loss of a loved one - I believe there is solace to be found in the knowledge that they didn’t choose to leave you and they didn’t want to go. That their love for you still exists, that it sits around you like a blanket, and sparkles every time you experience joy and beauty. That you don’t have to find an inexhaustible well of love within yourself, but can draw from theirs instead. They left it behind for you to flourish from and their memory comes alive every time you drink from it.

To those who have been left in a different way, know that it doesn’t make your grief any less real or tragic. It might mean you can’t type up a post and leave it on your social media feed for others to share in your grief over. It might mean there are days of the year where you feel exposed and raw, as everyone else illustrates and celebrates that they have something you don’t. But it doesn’t mean you are any less worthy of experiencing that particular type of love and connection.

Someone I spoke to recently who knows this same feeling of loss, explained it so beautifully to me. They said that every child, every soul who comes into this world deserves wholehearted love and caring. It is without question that this is true. And if you have someone in your life who has been unable to provide you with the love that you deserve, it is not because your worthiness is in question. How could it ever be, when your worth is something you are born with?

No - if they cannot love and care for you, commit themselves to you for a lifetime and spend their life building a well of love for you to fill yourself up from when they are gone, then it’s because they lost connection with their own well somewhere along the way and have been unable to mend the cracks. Send your love and caring to them, as you love and heal yourself. The chasm that you carry within you from their departure is nothing in comparison with the black hole that they carry within themselves.

Your cracks are beautiful.

Fill them with golden memories, hopefulness and love.

Fill them with acceptance and self-love.

Fill them with self-compassion.

Be easy on your gentle heart, dear friend. These feelings will come and go with the seasons, and when they come again you will find a way through, as you always do. The world may not show that it knows what you're walking through, but I do. And if I do, then others do too.

Stay strong and soft through your loss.

With love, as always,


Note on this blog:

This post was written on Father's Day 2021. I write with my experience of paternal estrangement in mind, but I believe these words speak to so many other types of loss, as well. I wrote it in one sitting, whilst buried deep in my feelings and then forgot that I'd ever written it. I've rediscovered it today and decided to go ahead and publish it in the hope that my words may bring you solace and comfort through your loss, even if it doesn't precisely mirror mine. Vx

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