The Life Cycle Of Love

Unknown Athor

We get our hearts broken and move on, raising our standards and deepening our understanding, learning as much about ourselves as we do the beloveds to whom we pledge fleeting allegiance. Then we find our one true love: "I have found it impossible…to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love..." (Edward VIII, later Edward, Duke of Windsor.)
We know it will last forever. Sometimes it doesnt: "Now it is adjudged … that the bonds of matrimony between plaintiff and defendant be, and the same are, dissolved...." (Divorce court.) When it does, our yellow brick road is littered with unsettled arguments, frequent "what have I gotten myself into?"s and "Ive had it!"s. There are plenty of silent disappointments and countless compromises. But we keep going: "Love is or it aint. Thin love aint love at all
..." (Toni Morrison.)

Gradually, we age. Hopefully, we mature. We understand we can love many but must commit to one. We decide we are in it for the long haul: "Like species, couples die out or evolve..." (Marge Piercy.)
Christmases, IRS deadlines and midnight trips to the emergency room bookmark our togetherness. We finish each others sentences, catch each others colds. Subtly, wonderingly, we understand weve become joined like new skin over a clean cut: "You cannot clap with one hand..." (Chinese proverb)

Slowly, many we love leave us. Then one day we wake up and our dearest is gone, too: "That come the twilight should we lose our way, If as we’re walking a hand should slip free, I’ll wait for you, And should I fall behind, wait for me..." (Bruce Springsteen.)
But, having loved, we’re not alone. We still talk to each other, it’s just that one of us can’t hear the answers. At least, not out loud. If we look around we see the signs that, once known, love never dies:
You - and you alone - will have the stars as no one else has them… In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing, when you look at the sky at night… You - only you - will have stars that can laugh!… And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me..." (Antoine De Saint-Exupery.)
Look up!