What is Love?

2 minutes Written by Nikki Scott

Valentine’s Day can be hard when you’ve lost someone or something that you love dearly. Honestly, every day of the year can be hard, and that’s okay. You’re human and you’re grieving. In the literature on grief, you may often hear the term “grief is love.” We know what grief is; it’s the feeling of deep sadness and sorrow. Grief is pain and grief is anger, resentment, frustration, guilt, confusion, and a whirlwind of other emotions. Grief is a normal reaction to a loss of any kind.

But when it comes to grief, what is love? I know that when we think of love, we often think of romance, hearts, and feeling warm and fuzzy, which is true and valid. But, love is so much more than that. Love can be joyful and beautiful but it can also be hard and painful.

Love is missing someone or something so deeply that you can’t keep it bottled up inside anymore. Love is grieving inwardly and outwardly and any way that feels right to you. Love is going to the grocery store and being reminded of your person but deciding that you are allowed to cry right then and there. Love is taking care of yourself in the midst of your deep sorrow. Love is writing letters and poems to your person. Love is finding ways to honor them on special holidays, like Valentine’s Day, but also during any ordinary day of your life.
Jamie Anderson wrote one of the best quotes about grief and love and how they intersect: “Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.”

Please try to be gentle with yourself in this new and perhaps difficult chapter of your life. Try to hold onto the things, people, memories, and activities that make you feel love. Try to remember that your grief is normal and your feelings are valid. Try to remember during your most painful times of grief and sorrow that grief is truly and beautifully… love.  

All my love,

Avatar Nikki Scott

Written by Nikki Scott

Nikki Scott is a therapist in Michigan who specializes in individual therapy.