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Natural Awakenings SW PA, Greater Pittsburgh

Grateful for love.

Grateful for love.

 

Love is not easy. I have learned that the most important thing that we can have or share is love. In fact, it really is the only thing that matters. Because I have been a nurse for so long and have taken care of mostly older people and those at the end of life, this awareness has been reinforced on many occasions.

 

When I was a night shift nurse in the hospital, I worked on the oncology (cancer) floor for some time. I liked this shift because I felt I had more time to care for people, and as a single mom with a small child, I didn’t want to be away all day. Many people spent their last days on that unit, and they often shared stories of love and regret with me. They revealed all of what mattered, and it was usually about love—the love of husbands and wives, lovers and partners, children, friends and even pets.

 

They rarely talked about money or fine possessions, cars or jewelry. They didn’t talk about how large their houses were or how impressive their diamonds looked. They spoke of the love they had, the love they had lost and even regrets about love. Some very sad people died with painful regret for love that they had taken for granted or foolishly squandered. What I learned is that we are lucky to have love. It may be a love that lasts a lifetime or a love that is fleeting. Sometimes love burns hot, sometimes it simmers and sometimes it burns out, but the memory of that love still exists, no matter the outcome. Where there once was love it will always remain, even if contact is lost. People may move on or become lost to us; life in this realm may end, but love never really goes away.

 

As I get older, I realize that gratitude for the love that I have had and still have is what soothes the heartache. If we can turn our sorrow or pain of the loss of love into gratitude, that love will continue to glow and nourish our hearts. Any form of love is a gift, and one that we are lucky to have or have had.

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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