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Happiness - And - Love

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A few months ago I read a book with various subject matters. Recently when talking and writing to a friend (who is also grieving the loss of his partner/spouse) I had a chance to recall - and talk about - two of the subject matters of this book – Happiness and Love. The book is called “Too Soon Old – Too Late Smart” by Gordon Livingston.

It seems to me that as we are grieving the loss of our partners/spouse – that it is sometimes nice to contemplate what it is that makes us happy as individuals, and to define what love means to us. I found that in reading this book and talking to others that I am striving to find the happiness that I had and known when Jack was alive. I also found that I could relate to the “definition of love” as described in this book. Following are some passages from this book - and my own reflections as they applied to me.

In the book he defines Happiness as having three components - and they are:

1. Something to do

2. Someone to love.

3. Something to look forward to.

He goes on to say about happiness:

“Think about it. If we have useful work, sustaining relationships, and the promise of pleasure, it is hard to be unhappy. I use the term ‘work’ to encompass any activity, paid or unpaid, that gives us a feeling of personal significance. If we have a compelling avocation that leans meaning to our lives, that is our work.”

He then goes on to talk about Love – and says:

“Much is made of the presumed difficulty in defining ‘love’. Because the basis for the feeling itself is mysterious (Why do I love this person and not someone else?). It is assumed that the words cannot encompass what it means to love another. How about this definition? We love someone when the importance of his or her needs and desires rises to the level of our own. In the best of cases, of course, our concern for the welfare of another exceeds, or becomes indistinguishable from, what we want for ourselves. An operational question I use to help people determine if they really love someone is, ‘Would you take a bullet for this person?’ This may seem an extreme standard, since few of us are required to confront such a sacrifice and none of us can say with certainty what we would do if our desire for self-preservation collided with our love for another. But just imagining the situation can clarify the nature of our attachment.”

I also found his discussion of love - and attempt to define it - to be most reflective. I remember when I first read this book I truly understood what he was saying – and also really knew how much I loved Jack. I know I would - in fact -have “taken a bullet for him”. I can recall telling Jack’s son one day last May – as his Father was slipping further and further away – I said Tommy “If there was a way I could take your Fathers place – endure the burden he is facing – and die for him – I would gladly do this”. To this day I know I would have gladly taken Jack’s place. In effect I was telling his Son I would “take a bullet” for his Father. He had no comment to me at the time – and – I believe he wished I could have “Taken his Fathers Place” – “Taken the Bullet” – and that’s ok – after all who wants to lose their Father. I feel comfortable knowing that I have loved that deeply. I believe it’s knowing that I have loved that deeply before – and realizing what love really is – that makes me want to have that all again. How could anyone not want to duplicate that wonderful feeling? I want – again – to be able to feel love so deeply that I would be willing to “take a bullet” for the one I love.

I would be willing to bet that all of you seek happiness again – and that all of you would have “taken the bullet” for your lost love.

Love and peace to you all,

John - Dusky is my handle on here

Love you Jack

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There is no doubt in my mind that George and I either one would have gladly taken the bullet for each other and without a moment's hesitation. That is truly defining as to the degree of love for one another. It makes me stop and think...

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