Strange New World: Where Do I Put All Of This Love?

I once read a quote that said; “Grief is just love with no place to go.”

For some reason, since reading this quote, I find that its words often crawl over my mind when I open my eyes in the morning and when I close them at night. I think that perhaps, on some simple level, my mind is asking itself an honest question in response to this quote; where then, do I put all of this love?

Where do I put the thousands of nighttime kisses, the hundreds of Sunday morning giggles and all the countless, “I love you’s.” Where do they all go now?

Love can feel like bathing in a never-ending waterfall. It can feel indestructible, invincible and ageless. We draw on its goodness, trust in its certainty and believe in it as a limitless force in our lives. So, what happens when a person who we have connected all of those beliefs and feelings to, suddenly leaves our life?

Losing that person has the biggest impact on our lives and affects us profoundly, in ways we could never have imagined. Their immense significance reflected in the huge, person-shaped hole that is suddenly formed in our lives as a result of their loss. Losing them brings deep despair, total disconnect, and bewilderment. We suddenly feel incomplete and at a loss as to where we are meant to place all of the feelings and love we possess, now that the person they are connected to is no longer there. We grieve.

The loss I feel for my marriage is so deep that I often have to remind myself he is still alive. He hasn’t died, he has chosen to end our marriage, to end all of that love. It has been one of the biggest challenges I have ever faced, to come to terms with his detachment from my love and to try to live amongst the loss, the displacement and the feeling of being totally incomplete.

When someone you love ends a relationship, that doesn’t mean your feelings automatically end according to their wishes. Your love for them may still be so very strong, so very real and so very much alive.

In all honesty, there have been many times when I have prayed for the feelings I have for my husband to simply disappear. At times I have felt it would be easier, that I would rather them gone than for them to have no place to live.

It is such a painful experience.

Often, we can try and fill those gaping holes with other things, some good and some bad. Anything that will fill the void. We can quickly try to attach ourselves to others, to try and pin our love to strangers rather than let it roam unclaimed. We can try to numb the loss with drink and other things. We can become careless with our lives because we feel we have no purpose anymore because they were our purpose.

For me, I have those voids, I have that pain, I have that shadow, but I have tried to pin it all to God to help me through it. I am thankful that I have been able to do that. I am trusting that he will fill my voids, heal my wounds and flood light into the shadows. However, I am still left asking that question, where do I put all of this love?

My husband and I collected little keepsakes of our life together all throughout our relationship. Cinema tickets, theatre programmes, serviettes from fancy restaurants we visited. It was like we were breathing meaning into these items because they formed a part of our story. They were markers, mapping the footsteps of our life together. I find it really difficult to look at these keepsakes now, as I feel like ultimately they were mapping the footsteps that would lead to this point, to divorce and the end of our love.

When I look at these keepsakes and all the other markers of our life together, my mind gets confused, do I keep them? Do I get rid of them because of the pain they now cause? Where do they belong now? It can be so difficult to be surrounded by reminders of the love we shared when their meaning now seems so untethered.

I feel much the same about my love for my husband. It is still there but without the anchor it was connected to. It is untethered, it doesn’t really belong anymore. I can’t just pack it away, so I live with it, hovering over me but feeling that it doesn’t belong with me anymore.

The reality is the love I have for my husband doesn’t belong where it used to. I can’t connect it to him anymore but it doesn’t mean I have to stop loving him, to just switch that love off. It just isn’t that easy. I am not a robot that can de-programme my heart. I think I have come to understand that, perhaps, I just need to allow that love to one day, naturally find a place to live, a place that doesn’t have the power to hurt me anymore, to cause me pain or anguish.

There might always be a tiny drawer in my heart where the love I have for my husband will live and maybe that’s okay.

It was a real love and, to me at least, it was limitless. It was a love that forged who I am and an incredibly important part of my story, and I will come to honour it for those reasons. I know in time, that just like me, it will find it’s place to belong.

16 thoughts on “Strange New World: Where Do I Put All Of This Love?

  1. rescuedbymercy says:

    Dear Sister: Your quote at the beginning of this post was truly eye-opening. This post speaks very candidly to the love that remains after divorce that leaves a soul incredibly conflicted as to “what do I do now?” The feelings and the bond of oneness don’t just take wings and fly away because LEGALLY your marital contract has been dissolved by a court of law. The court can’t erase family holiday memories, your children’s births, the weekend getaways, or the comforting moments shared through the years. God designed us to LOVE and when we have no depository for it; it can break our hearts all over again. Like you, I have decided to POUR my love on my LORD. Perhaps in time; I may love again. But, if not, my prayer is that God will give me contentment in my relationship with Him. My God help and strengthen you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • valleygirlwalking says:

      Thank you so much for your wonderful message and for your kind good wishes. You are so right, our love can’t just be switched off, we are not designed that way. It sounds like you have an amazing faith. It is so hard to navigate through, dealing with this open ended feeling of not knowing where to place the love we have but I know God will get us through. I do pray that He continues to strengthen and bless you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gina says:

    i love how you write and put meaning to words and feelings. this was beautifully written, sad yes, hurting yes, but so much healing i feel from it. i know how it feels to have all that love with no place to put it or give to. all those mementos had a meaning once, don’t put them in a bitter drawer. we can never make people feel what we do or what we want. today i want to say to you that it is ok to cry about the love you once had, it is ok to fall from grace and long for that person to love you, it is ok because the one who loves you above all else knows you need to and welcomes you back – our Saviour suffered more rejection then we could ever imagine – how hurt he is every time we cry too, as man he understood that pain, as God he can take it all way. i pray if you cry today, if you long for that love you lost, allow it to be, then take a deep breath and say I am loved, sincerely and without a doubt. be blessed beautiful lady!

    Liked by 3 people

    • valleygirlwalking says:

      Thank you so much Gina. It really helps me to write about how I’m feeling I seem to work it through in my mind as I write and I’m always so pleased when lovely people like yourself get in touch and let me know that they understand those feelings and share their experiences.

      Your message was so uplifting as although the post might seem sad, as you say it is all apart of my healing which I can feel God is begining in me. It’s nice to hear that it’s okay to cry and long for someone and have those feelings still even though it has ended. Yes, God truly does understand our suffering and he sees our hearts, we are so blessed by that. Thank you so so much for your prayers and your amazing continued support 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. roninjax says:

    Even through the pain you choose to love and that is honorable. Wonderful insight. Maybe we should never suppress love but do what you mention – store it as necessary and release it as it benefits you and others alike. Love is abundant and abounds. God’s Love is endless. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thereluctantpoet says:

    Such a powerful and heartfelt post, My Dear!!! I so sorry to hear of your situation and loss but I know from having had to walk that pathway that it does get better with time. It is sad that we cannot have someone love us just because we love them. It is sad that people change!! I will tell you that as painful as it was for me to go through, looking back I would not change a single thing that happened because each step lead me to my Beloved Wife of 18 years. I’m hoping your experience will be the same. You may soon understand that no one should want to be with someone who isn’t “In Love” with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • valleygirlwalking says:

      It is so good to hear that things get better with time. I’m so pleased that you found such an amazing love again. It is such a painful thing to go through when the love you have is no longer returned to us but we have to believe there is still a future for us, with new life in store for us. Thank you so much for that brilliant encouragement. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • thereluctantpoet says:

        I just finished a long response to you and hit post and it was lost. I will try and remember what I told you. It is very hard to deal with unrequited love from someone who was once “In Love” with you. Happy you found something to cheer you up in my response. Honestly, it does get better and someday, hopefully sooner than later, you will come to a point when you no longer care. You will store all those memories deep in your heart and only seldom will one of them escape in your dreams.

        The question you need to ask yourself is “Why am I in pain and they are not?”. Because they have “Let Go” and moved on. Soon you will come to see that being In Love is an everyday choice that is made by both parties and once someone stops you can’t make them stay in love with you. It is so sad to deal with. It took me a year and a half to get to “I don’t care anymore”. I hope it’s sooner for you, My Dear!

        You may enjoy some of my earlier works in my Archives from 2017. I’m happy to know some of my words brought you some cheer and hope!!

        Here is a poem on the subject of loss you may identify with:

        Liked by 1 person

      • valleygirlwalking says:

        Thanks so much for your comment. It is such a difficult experience as you say, i do pray that in time it won’t have the power to hurt me anymore and that I will continue to heal. As you say, I’m sure the memories will stay with me but in time I will become stronger. Thank you for your encouragement and for sharing your experience with me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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