Lack of Love

By
Lack of Love

I never knew that death could teach me so much about life. Nor did I know that in the midst of mourning I could rejoice. Actually, to be quite honest, I was not mourning at all. Not one tear. Not one painful cry exploding from my heart. This lack of mourning was my problem. How could I be such an insensitive, heartless, and unloving person? In this time of utter confusion as to why I was so cold-hearted, I begin to search, grope rather, to understand the reason for my supposed insanity. A light began to shine and bring me some very welcomed answers as I decided to dig down beneath the surfaces and get to the heart of the matter: love - or maybe the lack thereof.

My first memory of Bom came when I was about five or six. I remember her commenting on the fact that my nail polish had chipped, and it made my fingers look silly. It wasn’t one of the typical loving sentiments I had grown accustomed to from other relatives, but my great-grandmother had her own way of communicating, and she said whatever came to her mind. As time went on, she would attend various family functions, and her candid comments came with her- biting and tearing down those she was supposed to love. As I became older, my mother and her brothers would share stories with me about the hurt she had caused them as they grew up. They would go on to tell me about her extreme selfishness and lack of love in raising her own children (one of whom is my grandfather). By the time they told me these things, I was not surprised, as I had seen so many of those same characteristics still being played out in her life. For years, she attempted to show herself superior by tearing down everyone close to her. In the end, every mean-spirited comment and loveless act were just bricks creating an enclosure of isolation around her.

News came of Bom’s death one morning. I remember feeling sad, but not in a grieving sense. The emotion was comparable to what one feels when she hears of a stranger’s death- not complete apathy, but nothing to a degree that would really touch the heart. That evening my family gathered together. Just by looking into the eyes of my family members, I could tell they shared the same feelings. They were not grieving either. That day made the wall Bom had put up around herself obvious. Even in her last days, as we all tried to make the time she had left comfortable and pleasant, she never took the time or expended the effort to start tearing down the bricks of her wall. She was not interested in reconciliation.

Spending time with my family that night, I saw the proof that the loveless heart of my great-grandmother had not been passed down through the generations. I saw young cousins laugh together as they ran in the grass. I saw brothers watch sports with each other and celebrate when their team made an outstanding play. I saw mothers in the kitchen cooking and sharing stories about what had happened the past week. I saw my grandfather, a man who, at some point in his life, said he had had enough of selfishness and unkindness and resolved to give everything he had to build a family that loves each other. It was then I began to rejoice as I saw the beauty of love and the mountains it can climb and the joy it can bring.

As I said goodnight to everyone, I remember being so grateful for each one of them. I then got in my car and sat still and silent for a few moments. It was at that moment that I decided to raise my future family with love to the best of my ability. When I die, I do not want them to have apathetic hearts. Instead, I want them to mourn because they lost someone who genuinely loved them, yet smile from the joy in their hearts for the life we lived together.





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