“It’s terrible the way one loses things as one grows older.” wrote Simone De Beauvoir.
What do you do when something, some phase or chapter in your life has come to its end? You feel it, you know it, and yet you don’t know how to react. What are you supposed to do, how are you supposed to behave? Everything comes to an end in this world. Relationships, friendships, love, childhood, parenthood, adolescence, your job, your dreams and eventually your life. Somewhere along the road, sometime during your journey to the future you realize you have lost so much in order to just live.
“Human relationships always help us to carry on because they always presuppose further developments, a future – and also because we live as if our only task was precisely to have relationships with other people.” Albert Camus
Do you ever think of the relationships you could have had if only you were not too busy getting an education or pursuing a career? Do you ever think of the friends you lost or drifted apart from because you were busy working and taking care of your family? Do you ever think of the sunsets you have missed because you had to hurry home and cook dinner for your family? Or the sunrises you have not noticed, because you were caught up in traffic on your way to work? You had no other choice but to slave away and provide the best you could for your family and your children.
“As you get older, the heart sheds its leaves like a tree. You cannot hold out against certain winds. Each day tears away a few more leaves; and then there are the storms that break off several branches at one go. And while nature’s greenery grows back again in the spring, that of the heart never grows back.” Gustave Flaubert
And now your children are ready to live their own life and in their turn they are looking forward to overcoming the many challenges they are about to face. During all that time you did not notice how old your parents have become until you are about to lose them. It is always sad to say goodbye, it is always sad to know that there is no going back, just as it is sad to leave a place you know you will never ever return to.
“Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.” Gustave Flaubert
It is sad to learn that what you dreamed of or hoped for never materialized and what you did not wish for or what you least expected, did.
“You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light. But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen. When the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.” Ernest Hemingway