Posted in A Moment in My Life

“’Tis Better to Have Loved and Lost than Never to Have Loved at All”

A Moment in My Life – Monday, March 7, 2022

Jeannie Yee Davis

So, is it better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? I’m not constantly thinking about it, but this topic came up a few times in conversation last week, and that’s how I ended up thinking about it. The question is quite subjective. If you ask different people, you will get a different answer. That’s fine. Everybody is entitled to a view. After all, there is no right or wrong answer here. It all depends on what’s in your heart.

The conversation began with my friend, and I’ll call him Chad, stating that he’d rather be alone than invest time into new friendships. Although his reasons were valid, his comment stumped me. I can’t imagine life alone. I value my alone time, but I got to have my “people” time. He lost many close friends in recent years. I get it—so have I. We’re all getting older, and our circle of friends is thinning. That’s the sad part of life, but it is what it is.

 Being the fixer, I felt I needed to help him see the other side. Before you say anything, in hindsight, I know it wasn’t my place, but at the time of the conversation, I honestly felt I needed to help him see the positive side of having friends. Only because I care and don’t want him to regret his decision years down the line when it might be too late—this life is it, and it’s not a dress rehearsal. Our choices will have a significant impact on our future. 

It takes time to develop those deep and meaningful relationships that become friendships. That’s why I was so determined to have that long discussion with Chad. We went around and around, volleying our views back and forth when I realized there was no changing his mind, and I did my job. Yeah, if it’s all the same to you, having done my job was a more positive spin than to claim my defeat.

While that conversation was still raw in my mind, a BFF announced that she is looking to downsize and will be moving, possibly, away from the bay area this year. It all depends on where she’ll find her new home. I was so not prepared for this news. We’ve lived close to each other for most of our lives. We went to the same schools were at each other’s wedding. We doubled-dated. We hung out all the time. We watched each other’s houses while the other traveled. We were there for each other all of our adult lives. I can’t imagine her not being nearby. This news dampened my mood for days as I processed my looming loss. Maybe God intended the earlier conversation to help soften the blow of this one? I don’t know. It still sent me spiraling into the dark pit for a while.  

And that is how today’s column came to be. Like Chad, I’ve lost four people very close to me within three years. As devastating as those losses were, is it better not to make friends so as not to lose them? In light of my BFF’s relocation plans, Chad’s words replay in my head as I mourn the change that’s coming. No matter how I play his words over, I still can’t entirely agree with him. For me, I rather have what little time I get with people dear to me than never to have had them in my life. 

Each person brings value and unique experiences that brighten my world, making me a more affluent person closer to the woman God created me to be. Without these people, I wouldn’t have developed those parts they influenced. With these people, regardless of where they go, they leave their mark and memories for me to cherish forever. If we were lucky enough to have a photo taken together, I’d have that to hold dear, as well. Thanks to this self-pep talk that I needed so badly, I no longer feel sad that my BFF is moving away since we made so many beautiful memories together in the bay area. I rejoice with her for what she wants. It’s true. It won’t be as convenient to get together after she relocates, but we will continue to hang out every chance we get. If there is a will, there is a way, and we will make it work. Distance does not diminish friendship.

I firmly believe that you can never have too many friends. Sure, there are different kinds of friends, and not every friend will become a BFF, but each friend will add a flavor to the bouquet of my life. For that reason, I think ’tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

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