The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

January 1, 2007

A Mighty Pain

"A mighty pain to love it is,
And 'tis a pain that pain to miss;
But of all pains, the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain."

--Abraham Cowley--

It's been written about from the beginning of time by some of the greatest poets and playwrights the world has ever seen, including Shakespeare and others whose prose have transcended the centuries.

Dante and Beatrice, Don Quixote and Dulcinea, Midsummer Night's Dream, Cyrano de Bergerac, Les Miserables, Great Expectations, Phantom of the Opera -- they all had elements of it.

"It" is unrequited love -- a burning desire to love someone and to be loved by that someone, but that love is not or cannot be returned, leaving a solitary feeling of despair and helplessness in the soul of the one.

It results in a love left unnurtured, untended to, abandoned to wither on the vine and shrivel up and die and fall to the ground and be swallowed up by the earth.

And this can happen with all the best of intentions of both individuals. How many have escaped this painful roll of the heart's loaded dice, love's version of Russian Roulette?

Either as the one whose love is scorned by someone who just doesn't feel the same way or as the one who shuns the advances of the other and who feels the hurt of that person they have turned away?

Risk. Acceptance. Rejection. Broken hearts, closed hearts, happy hearts, dead hearts. Devastated hearts.

The feeling by the one that something could be so right...but the other is not ready or not willing or incapable or it just doesn't work for them. Their hearts may be open, but not to that person.

Or their heart may be closed because of past hurts or fears. The love of the one, no matter how deep or committed, is not accepted by the other. It is, truly, heart-breaking.

There is absolutely nothing new about any of this.

But when it's front and centre and staring you in the face, and you can see someone who has risked everything for you and ends up with nothing, it's too much pain to just ignore...for either one.

I wish it could be different. I wish the pain she is feeling could just be stopped, like turning off a faucet.

I wish there was a way to explain why it has to be this way.

There is no explanation that will stem the hurt, stop the bleeding, no solution to rejection. The wound is open and the only thing that will soothe the pain and heartache is acceptance of what is.

And I am deeply sorry for what is.


  1. Anonymous4:37 p.m.

    This post was very sad, yet beautiful. You have such a good heart. Nothing I can say will make things better. Just know that you are both in my thoughts.

  2. oh ww.

    my heart was close to breaking before i read your post. now i am a basketcase.

    i know you hope this blog message comforts someone you love. i hope so too. i'm no longer sure how fate and destiny work-- i thought i knew--but i do believe if it's to be, it will be.

    my deepest kindest most healing thoughts to all involved.


  3. I am quite disturbed about the cherub being shot in the back..that's just wrong!

    All is fair in Love and War because Love IS War...when you fall in Love you declare War on yourself and what was once your common sense.
    In times of War you must be prepared to accept casualties..
    this includes so called collateral damage, other people who may have been innocent bystanders.

    The old addage that the heart wants what the heart wants is not entirely true...although when you're young you still have that idealistic notion of the stars aligning...finding that one special person in the entire universe...
    you still assume that you can't control WHO you fall in love with...
    thank goodness that as we get older we get fussy, cautious and realistic!
    How un-romantic.

  4. Laurie (or Laura??):

    A beautiful person may be cursing my heart or me right about now, I'm not sure.

    But you are right, there is little to say that can heal the pain.

    Thanks. You're a peach.


    Why was your heart already close to breaking? And why has this pushed you over the edge?

    I don't know that the person I love -- but not the way she would like -- will ever see this.

    Of course, I am communicating with her personally about this very personal matter.

    I struggled with whether I should post anything at all about this, but the theme of my blog has been Within Without...and this is that.

    My feelings for her are really front and centre now -- how can you not feel both honoured that someone can feel this way about you, but also sorry that you can't reciprocate?

    Do not be a basketcase, please. I'm under no illusions. This has happened to me before and because it has, I feel more for her.

    This was to be less about me and her but more about everyone else, in the context of me and her.

    I have no idea either how fate and destiny work. So join the club. Like I said, this isn't new.

    It's just what I'm thinking and feeling for her. That's all.


    The cherub being shot in the back isn't a pleasant image, but to some extent it's how people feel when this happens.

    I agree to some extent with the military analogy but that doesn't make it any less hard to accept.

    That's the risk/reward part of life and love. The difference is you're not obeying anyone's orders but your own.

    And you don't have some general calling the shots from way back in the demilitarized zone.

    And I don't know that age makes you more realistic or anything like that, although I DO think it makes you more cautious.

  5. Some of us are cautious with how and to whom we express our love and others of us wear our hearts on our sleeves. I'm not sure which is best. I suppose each has it's place and time. Either way, there's no doubt that expressing that love means allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to that other person. It's frightening and wonderful all at once. I hope that both of you will come out of this experience remembering the wonderful aspects of it.

  6. Anonymous8:19 p.m.

    It one of those things that you have absolutely no control of. Some people deal with it and move forward as there comes a time when one realizes that even though we set out to please and make others happy, it is ultimately our happiness that is the bottom line. Then there are those of us, who sacrifice their own being and give in to the love of that in which they do not want...simply to avoid conflict and ill-will.

    I know such a person...he is in love and his love will never be recipricated, yet he holds on to false hope and already he has lost a year that he will never get back.

  7. Ur heart is made of Gold mate. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    I missed ya...

  8. and I totally agree with AWAITING.


  9. hey guys, i'm here to say love can knock you down and seize your heart in a flash, before you have a clue what happened and even when you least expect it or desire it!

    you can control what you do, but not what you feel! (whew)

  10. Objective views tend to fall on their kiesters, in circumstances
    like these. And it's as hard to
    stitch together reasons, rags that
    they are. Touching read.

  11. Anna:

    I'm with you. But the key point is that there has to be love on both sides.

    When there's love from only one person, the scales are way out of whack and that person is on a precarious perch.

    The power is with the person who is not the loving one, whether they want that power or not.

    I agree entirely that if you're going to love, you've got to allow yourself to be vulnerable.

    It's the agreeing to love or feeling the love that is the first step, don't you think?


    Been there, done that with trying to love without really loving...and it doesn't work.

    Also sympathize with your friend and the famous "faint-hope clause," hoping something will change...

    And it never will.

    That is the last place I ever want to be.


    Happy NY to you too, girl. Hope you had a good time in NZ and that 2007 is your big year...


    I think that's just the way it has to be. I would rather be grabbed by some force like that than try to manufacture that magic.

    Agree entirely you can't control what you much as you can't control what you don't feel.


    Thanks, you're right, entirely.

  12. Oh WW whatever did you do this post for? I know you you have to do it but for heaven's sake that picture of the dagger right into an anatomical heart is something that made me sick. The trauma nurse in me just cannot take it. I am sorry I am being so bold and so unrestrained with my opinions. I am sorry to read this because I know someone is in pain. It's love, that awful thing. It's only fine when both love the same but if not, all is a mess. Love is very demanding. It wants equal share. It cannot be denied or else it will end up like that cherub with the arrow on its back. Who was the coward who shot that little angel on his back? This is too much to bear on the first week of 2007.

    I also cannot bear to read that my dearest, beloved friend KJ said her heart is close to breaking and now she is a basketcase. This is all very sad. I need to have a word with her.

  13. Ces:

    You can be bold and unrestrained here anytime...which is what the image of the heart also is.

    I'm sorry for the timing, but it's in the here and the now.

    This stuff hurts, big-time, as your comment confirms with intelligence and feeling.

    As to who shot JR (I mean the cherub), I'd have to say it must be love itself, which can be a beautiful thing but which also can turn on you in a minute and consume.

    Live by Cupid's Arrow, Die by Cupid's Arrow...when it happens, it can be cruel and hit you right between the eyes, or even in the back.

  14. ww, ces and anyone else interested: it's ok--i am a functional basketcase. 2006 has filled me with so much love i'm not sure i can hold it all. your post sent me over the edge because i HATE it when love hurts!

  15. Anonymous3:36 p.m.

    Love can hurt, a lot. I am feeling a bit of that pain in my (very complicated) life right now as well. All I know is you can't control who you love, any more than you can control who loves you.

  16. Anonymous3:41 p.m.

    Very powerful,and honest writing!
    Extremely sad,but sadly thats how life,and love can be.
    Take care

  17. In order to find love a person always leaves themselves wide open to the possibility of rejection -there's no other way around it. There's no other way to find love.She would know that. A person can never be truly human until they've had a bruised heart.

  18. KJ:

    It's OK to admit you are a basketcase. Personally, I'm a basketball. I bounce here and there but I don't like getting dunked.

    I hate it when love hurts too. But that was the point of the post. There's nothing happy about it.


    Bingo. Under the B, Big Hurt. Under the N, No Control. Under the O, Oh Well, that's life. Live it.


    OK, so you and Laurie are two separate people? My little male brain got confused...

    Anyway, thanks. What you say about how that's how life can be rings true.


    How right you are, dear Lee. She does know that, as I know that, as you do.

    You're spot on about the humanness about being hurt. Thank you.

  19. I didnt go to NZ mate hehehe. They came over to my place :)


  20. Anonymous1:53 p.m.

    In case you were wondering. I'll cope. ( This was about me, wasn't it ;)xxx

  21. Keshi:

    Doh! Do you remember a post or two I've done featuring the male brain? And that memory particle?

    That explains that...


    I would never purposely hurt anyone, least of all you...


  22. Anonymous2:04 p.m.

    somewhere in Ontario says:
    It sounds to me like you have been hurt in the past, which we all have been at one point in our lives. I dont think it would be normal if at one time or another we have felt that pain of rejection or as you put it cant reciprocate one's feelings. But my point of view on this subject is that life is truly,,, too short to sit back and have the pity parties with all the excuses we all like to have. Sure it hurts, it sucks actually but the past is the past and your past is not your future.Life is full of risks and I think at this stage of life and lets face it, we are not getting any younger. Is it better to be alone and keep wondering or just forge ahead and put yourself out there.

  23. Somewhere in Ontario:

    I don't know where "somewhere" is. And I don't know you are.

    The things you say are correct in many ways and on the surface of it and them, I agree with what you say.

    But there are, of course, many deeper layers to this that you, presumably, are not aware of.

    The bottom line is yes, I have been hurt in the past, as has she, as has everyone, as you say.

    But what you seem to be suggesting is that a person should just screw all that and just go for it with someone you don't feel the same about as they feel about you.

    What, just to "be" with someone? And not to worry about their welfare too and hurting them yet again?

    To just say yeah, OK, let's do this...without knowing and feeling that's what you want to do?

    This isn't a pity party. It's about not being on the same wavelengths, and hurting her three or four times. And it is not easy.

  24. Anonymous3:06 a.m.

    oh my w.w.
    that was incredibly sad...


If you choose to use anonymous to comment, it is only fair that I reserve the right to obliterate your comment from my blog.