The more I learn to love people, the more I realize that every other feeling grows with the growth of love. Love is the overarching emotion, and even emotion is not the right word for it, because love is more than just emotion. It is a bond, a knot, a string tying the lives of people together, a physical sensation, and a spiritual event. That is why no one can really capture it in words, why it never goes out of style, why art and culture and civilization revolve around it. Deeper love means deeper joy. Deeper love means deeper anger. Deeper love means deeper sorrow.
In the past couple of years, I have had a few sorrows thrown into my life, most of them revolving around this beautiful little village in the middle of southeast Alaska. But as my love for the place grew, so did my sorrow for what has happened there. Then, not only the place, but the people. Then, not just the people in general, but one person more than anyone I’ve ever loved before. He is my best friend. He is strange and rough and crazy and loving and kind and caring. Soon he will be my husband. And today he lost the most important woman in his life—his mom.
And I don’t know what to do. For the first time in my life, I have absolutely no idea what to do. And I know that I can’t really do anything, because nothing will fix it. I am a fixer, a problem solver. I see the most complex problems and immediately I analyze them, study them, and try to figure out a way to fix them. But when I encounter something unsolvable, something like poverty, corruption, evil, death—I avoid it. I turn around and try not to focus on it because I know that I can’t change it. It’s selfish of me. I care about the problems in the world around me, but I don’t invest myself too much in the lives of others, because then I will have to own the fact that I can’t really solve their problems. But with him, I can’t avoid this. I have to face it, because he is my person. With other people, I almost always pull away when I know I have to, when I am leaving, or things are changing, or things get hard. I don’t even really do it on purpose, I think it is just selfish instinct. But with him, I could never do that. I just can’t. It would be wrong in every possible way, because I love him so much. But that makes me realize too that it is wrong every time that I pull away from others simply because I can’t mastermind a way out of their problems.
Ultimately, this means that EVERYTHING has to change. I can’t run away from sorrow anymore. I have to own it, and feel it, and admit that I can’t fix it, which means that I can’t run away from anyone ever again. Deeper love for one person makes me see that I am more afraid of love than I ever thought, but it also makes me see that I have more potential to be close to people than I ever thought. And in the middle of this horrible helplessness, I am grateful, so so grateful, that I have had the opportunity to even experience these feelings, this love and this sorrow. He and his family have helped me to see people so much more clearly.
Gunalcheesh, thank you, Kelly. I love you, and I love your family, and thank you for dragging me out of bed and taking me to meet your momma and papa at 7:30 in the morning after I hadn’t showered for four days. Thank you for taking me to your home during christmas so I could spend time with your family. Thank you for loving your momma so much and taking care of her and staying strong for your family. You are a good man, and I know she is so proud of you.