"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation." - Kahlil Gibran
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but what they should also include in that is that absence is painful and will feel like a lump in your throat for some time. In this new life I've found, I deal with absence or loss or goodbyes or whatever else you can call someone or something leaving your daily life often.
Exhibit A: Puppies!
Our dogs on the farm had a very good night and accidentally made twelve beautiful puppies. As each one was born, we all fell in love TWELVE times over. Since there were so many, we bottle fed them multiple times a day to give Mom a break and subsequently fell in love each time they went into a milk coma after we fed them til their bellies were full. Then their eyes opened and darned if we weren't falling all over again. And then they learned to walk, opened their eyes, learned to run, bark, play, nibble as they teethed, and cuddled more than ever so we fell in love often with each of them. But with all the new milestones they reached, the bigger and older they got which meant it was finally time to find them forever homes. We officially rehomed the last of them today and it stings a bit. I have spent at least thirty minutes day, twice a day with these babies since the moment they were born. I have kissed them, held them until they fell asleep in my arms, bottle fed them, gotten my nose/ears/toes chewed on daily, and loved every moment of it. But now they aren't here to do that and it gets a little weird if I start petting the WWOOFers and asking them if they want "CC Kisses" so I refrain...for now :-) So to cope with the loss, I remind myself that this is a good thing because we picked loving, responsible families that will continue to love them like we did. Plus, the farm is keeping one baby boy named Chip so we can still watch him grow and shower him with kisses and cuddles. And now for pictures...
Exhibit B: WWOOFers!
WWOOF stands for WorldWide Opportunities in Organic Farming which means people from all over come to our farm to experience farming and Hawaii for an allotted amount of time. I've met people from everywhere in the States, Germany, Estonia, Belgium, France, Australia, and the UK. When the WWOOFers get here, it's my job to get them settled in and trained on farm life so from the jump, we're building friendships. We work, sleep, and eat together; we have bonfires, sleep on the trampoline or beaches, see different parts of the island, swim, enjoy nightlife all together so we become a farmily. But at the same time, the volunteers are here temporarily whether it's three weeks or three months so our time is limited. I've made a lot of great friends which means it is unpleasant each time a farmily member leaves the our piece of paradise. I deal with this absence by staying in touch and sharing our memories with new WWOOFers so they can understand just how close we get.
Exhibit C: Farm Animals!
We live on an organic farm where we raise animals for food. I've slaughtered chickens countless times and have seen three litters of baby bunnies born, all for our consumption. The chickens aren't too hard to deal with because they're sometimes stinky and cluck a lot. But bunnies are so sweet and cute that you can't help but hold and love on them. We feed and cuddle the rabbits until they are five pounds or twelve weeks old and then it's time to "harvest" them. I handle this absence by reminding myself that these animals' purpose was for our nourishment and that they lived a much better life than animals raised in slaughterhouses.
Exhibit D: Love Interests!
When you travel full time, there's always the possibility that you'll meet a great guy/girl and enjoy your time together until one day it's on to the next destination. In Hawaii specifically, you could meet someone in the military (because there are a lot of bases here) which means they can get new orders at any time and have to leave on short notice. These goodbyes are difficult and typically hurt more than most. I face this pain by thinking of the great, new opportunities we'll encounter and making sure to live each moment with them (and in general) to the fullest. If it's meant to be, it'll be so trusting in the Universe helps. Also, keeping in touch seems to ease the discomfort from our missing piece.
So is it better to have loved and lost than to not have loved at all? I think so because my heart is that much bigger from all my loves. And I don't think the sweetness of loves would feel as good if we didn't have the pains of absence. I've learned through these experiences to not hold back or worry about what others will think and just be me, give my all and fully offer my heart.
Ending this with more love for you than before,