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Love and the Joy of Hurting.


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My sister in law shared this with me. It made me think of the post Don Wood submitted the other day. Maybe this can help explain some of the choices some of us make.

"Love and the joy of hurting"

By Bob Perks

"Do you like what you do?" she asked me.

"I write about happy things," I said.

"Wait a minute. I've read your work. You made me cry sometimes," she said.

"That makes me happy," I replied.

"Well, that's sick," she said smiling.

"I don't make people cry by hurting them. They often cry from the hurt they have already.

When I first started writing, people would reply telling me that they cried. I wrote back every

time to apologize until I one day realized what a privilege it was."

She still looked at me oddly.

"You see, something I was inspired to write touched someone in such a way as to draw from

them an emotion. They, the reader, actually permitted me, trusted me to enter into their very

being that day and release the pain or joy associated with my story."

"So, I let you in?"

"No, God did. He used that moment to connect us. There was something you needed to feel and

something He wanted me to say."

"Then why do we hurt so much?"


How much we hurt is often in relationship to how much we love. The same can be said about

happiness. How much happiness there is in our lives depends on how much love we have not

only for those around us, but for life itself.

Like the death of a loved one.

Such loss is a pain we all endure many times in our lives. Why? Because we love.

But the great thing about love is, it never ceases, even after the final goodbye.

Love continues. It does not cease to exist because someone has died. I believe it is not

the memory of someone gone, but the love of someone that sustains us. Love is more than

remembering. Love is first a decision of the mind and then a commitment of the heart.

A few years ago, someone wrote to me asking "When will I stop hurting?"

At that time there seemed to be a number of people who were struggling with loss.

I have recently become aware that some of my "friends I've never met," are hurting.

Permit me to share that story with you again:

When will I stop hurting?

By Bob Perks

"I lost a loved one nearly a year ago. When will I stop hurting?"

The question was simple but difficult to answer. She was challenging me.

I wanted to help her, but I knew that only she could answer that question.

Whenever someone writes to tell me about a death, I always talk about

the difficult months ahead. I refer to it as a "Year of Firsts." The first holiday,

birthday, anniversary, summer picnic or other personal event without that loved one.

Then there are those little things you never really paid attention to before, but now

find a gaping hole right in the middle of your day. Like the time they woke up each

morning, how they had their coffee, the sound the door made around dinner time

when they arrived home and the way they said "hello."

But there was something about this message today that made me stop and really

think about what I needed to say. Oddly, I decided that the pain she was feeling

was a good thing, but I wasn't sure she wanted to know that.

Here is exactly what I wrote to her:

When will you stop hurting? That is a measure of the love you shared and how does

one measure love? By remembering them long after they are gone. "Memories" are

the shadows of a life well lived that remain long after the light of their being has gone out.

May you never forget. "Pain" is the echo of remembering those special moments

when all the world belonged to the both of you. The day will come when the pain of

remembering turns into understanding the privilege of ever having them in your life at all.

Remembering will be a joy. Although the pain is great at times you are reminded still,

how very much you loved and were loved.

May the rest of your life be a reflection of that love and when your time comes

may your passing cast long shadows for all who loved you, too.

Bob Perks


My final thought...

When I die...

Bury me not in a cold dark grave. Bury me deep within your heart. I will live forever there.

"I believe in you!"


I encourage you to share my stories but I do ask that you keep my name and

contact information with my work.

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Thank you so very much for this post. I don't think I've ever red anything that I can relate to so well. I had to stop and think about it and then read it over again. I so remember thinkig how bad all of the "firsts" were after I lost Dennis. Then, it seemed that some of the "seconds" got a little easier but some, like wedding anniversaries, got worse. I think they got worse because I would think of Dennis and then "measure" the time and distance between us. The longer he had been away from me, the harder some things were to handle. Now, the little things are the things that can bring me to tears...a special song on the radio, a movie we watched together, running into his friends. So, yes, some things do become easier to handle but some "holes" are never mended.

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