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The Ghosts of Lost Peeps | davelovell.net
Nov 182011

I’ve been miss­ing all the peo­ple I’ve lost more than usual recently.  Prob­a­bly comes from the slack­en­ing of my most recent life whirl­wind and the sud­den and over­whelm­ing quiet that has set­tled in its after­math.   Unstruc­tured time has always been my down­fall; and I’ve kept my life as busy as pos­si­ble in an uncon­scious desire to keep myself from myself.

I tend to carry around my lost peo­ple in my head – some­times I pull them out myself, some­times they jump out at me with­out invi­ta­tion, usu­ally when I’m in no mood.  Some of my losses were self-inflicted, some by mutual drift­age, but some were taken; and those are the lost peo­ple that have been in my thoughts lately.

I’ve dealt with enough ther­apy (from both sides of the couch) to know the stan­dard approach to con­sol­ing a per­son that loses their per­son; you try to cor­re­late the pain they feel to the depth of the love they felt; that they only hurt as much as they were loved – that only a few really expe­ri­ence these depths, because only a few have ever had what you no longer have.  The love of your lost per­son is ele­vated and wed­ded to the pain you expe­ri­ence.  That pain seems end­less and over­pow­er­ing, and thus – so must have been their love.

Only one prob­lem; it’s sel­dom true.  Most of us are much bet­ter remem­bered than we deserve – human nature seems to give other human natures the ben­e­fit of the doubt.  And so we raise our lost peo­ple to the dizzy­ing heights of our sad­ness and we sur­vive in the belief that we are unique in hav­ing been loved so well and con­se­quently lost so much.  (…insert 70’s lost love rock anthem here)

And I see noth­ing wrong with this bit of self-delusion if the lost per­son truly was irre­place­able; a par­ent, a sib­ling or even a spouse at the end of a shared life.  But what about those who’s loss comes rel­a­tively early in life and the role they played is not really one that they are ready to do with­out for the decades still ahead?   In this case… is there a down­side to all this elevating?

I’m think­ing yes.  Besides the idea that pretty much any self-delusion is gonna be prob­lem­atic at some point, there is the obvi­ous prob­lem of try­ing to find a replace­ment for some­one that you have ele­vated to a sta­tus beyond that of any­one you might meet.  Yes, even that per­son at the cof­fee shop that you think is so, so perfect!

We carry our own bag­gage and we cre­ate our own ghosts.  Those of us mid-lifers that find our­selves look­ing for love in all the wrong places have lots of bags and mul­ti­ple ghosts.  Whether we load those bags down with every issue we can as we head off on a date is up to us.  Whether we look across a table through the mist of our ghosts, or directly at the new face… that’s up to us too.





 Posted by at 4:17 pm

  2 Responses to “The Ghosts of Lost Peeps”

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