“Grief is love’s souvenir. It’s our proof that we once loved. Grief is the receipt we wave in the air that says to the world: Look! Love was once mine. I love well. Here is my proof that I paid the price.”- -Glennon Doyle
“Grief is love’s souvenir.” My darling wee girl, while part of me hopes that you never have to wave the receipt of grief in the air, hopes against hope that everything and everyone that you love will magically stay with you, always…another part of me knows that this is not possible no matter how hard I hope it might be.
And so, I wish for you instead that you will carry grief proudly, a symbol of loving hard, loving deeply, loving courageously with your whole heart.
And celebrate this love, whether it is fleeting or enduring.
Living a life with an open heart is the biggest and most important gift we can give to ourselves. Loving bravely and boldly is the most important thing of all, because, as I’m sure you already know, “love wins. Love always wins” (Mitch Album).
I don’t want you to think back through your life and wonder why you were afraid to love. Afraid to hold love’s hand and dance, if only for a brief few moments. Afraid to open your heart to another, whether for the first or fifteenth or fiftieth time.
I want you to wave grief high up in the sky and say “look how deeply I loved. How deeply I still love, even and especially after all that I have already loved and lost in my life.”
The sun will keep shining. I promise you. The flowers will keep blooming because the rain that comes with grief makes it that much more possible for them to bloom even brighter.
And the stars? The stars will still take your breath away, as you wonder at the miracle that has happened: and even after all that, after every single thing that happened to you in your life, you were still able to take a leap when your heart said yes. And even if your heart never says yes to anyone else again for the rest of your life (although I believe this to be exceptionally unlikely), you can still hold your heart and your head up high and say “I listened when my heart said yes. I loved bravely and boldly even when everything in my body was so scared. I listened when my heart said yes”.
Because that brave act of listening to your heart always, always makes all the difference. And then, in the midst of grief, you can say to yourself these comforting words: at least I tried. And knowing those words will give you the courage to try again the next time your heart says yes.
Because Love Wins, dearest girl.