“No matter where we go, or even if we don’t. And even if they try, they’ll never take my body from your side. LOVE DON’T DIE.” Or so says The Fray in one of my favorite songs. Not surprisingly, I happen to agree with them. Well, the part about love not dying, anyway. As far as the part regarding his body not being “taken from your side”? Not so much. After all, the body is temporal. But don’t let that concern you. It’s all good. As I’ve said here countless times and will no doubt say countless more, your body is your vehicle on this road trip of life. It is my conviction that YOU stretch well beyond that. The essential you doesn’t die and neither does love.
To me, it’s a bit like the way Santa explained Frosty to a crying Karen in Frosty The Snowman. Santa has arrived at the greenhouse too late to save Frosty from being melted by Professor Hinkle. Karen is bereft and grieving, certain that she has lost Frosty forever. Santa then explains that Frosty is made from Christmas snow and Christmas snow never goes away completely. It may take other forms, but it isn’t gone.
And so it is with love. As a person who once lived in fear of losing those that I loved, grasping the concept that love don’t die was life changing, allowing me the freedom to redefine what love actually was and make changes that were necessary for my well-being, along with the well-being of others that I had previously neglected to take charge of because of my fear. Regardless of the type of love involved, realizing that love don’t die meant I could back off when it may otherwise be my tendency to smother or “save”. It meant I could distance myself from relationships that didn’t serve me, understanding that it did not mean that I didn’t love the people involved, but instead I loved them enough to acknowledge that we weren’t at our best in one another’s presence and I wasn’t good for them either. It meant that I could release those whose immensely enjoyed companionship was a threat to the daily status quo of everybody involved. It meant that I could quit being afraid. The love didn’t die, it merely needed to take another form.
I aspire to love the way Forrest Gump loved Jenny. My interpretation is that he loved her without expectation or regret, without possessiveness or intention. He just loved her because he loved her and that was that. He didn’t worry about what he was going to “get back”. Understanding that love don’t die is having the faith to continue to hold love for others in your heart without requiring the gift of their physical presence in your life, whether it be due to death, necessary separation, or circumstances beyond your human understanding. Once you realize that love is not about having, but rather, being, you will understand that it cannot be taken from you. You are love and the connections made in love don’t die. They may change forms, but they are there. You simply need to tune into them.