How can I be sitting somewhere and listen to a theme song from a movie and just feel the sadness oozing out of it? Is it because I have seen the movie? Is it because I attach the situation immediately to the movie, or is it merely the way a composer has arranged those notes that create a sad song, just like a happy song or a marching song?
There are too many to mention, but here are a few: the Shindler’s Theme Song from Shindler’s List, We Had One Day from One Day (sad movie), Karen’s Theme I & II from Out of Africa, My Heart will Go On from Titanic (Okay, this one actually causes more a nauseous feeling than a sad one!), and the infamous and long-standing theme song A Time for Us from Romeo and Juliette.
The music tells the story best. As the notes swoon across the page, the instruments play (usually piano and stringed instruments), and it causes our hearts to feel the sadness. I think it’s such a curious thing. Why? What is happening in my experience and in my mind that is creating in that moment sadness, which in all reality, is not even my sadness?
And why does my heart cling to sadness in my own life? With my own sad love song? Why do I sit in sadness from a loss of love? Let it wash over me continually like a sad love song?
Do I or other’s sit in the experience of loss because we are sad about no longer having the experience with said person or thing, or because we do not believe we will ever experience the good feeling emotion again?
This is a good stopping point for a disclaimer, a worthy note of the type of loss: A loss of a loved one through death (or divorce), be it your beautiful and loyal pet, a sibling or spouse or good friend, is another whole category of loss. I do not, in any way, want to diminish this type of loss. Those are gut wrenching and take long moments of healing.
Is it the investment I made toward something of great value that has caused my heart to feel sad?
Would I feel the same toward a purchase of failed stock or property? I don’t think so. It might be more toward the emotions of regret, anger or guilt.
Emotions of the heart are so palpable, so tangible in a very intangible place within our psyche. And is the depth of the sadness equal to the time spent in a relationship, in the investment I made? Not necessarily.
I believe it has more to do with the authentic connection. It has happened-something akin to the lock and key analogy. In only a very few instances has it taken moments to make my heart open and feel this loving connection, where the gate was priorly locked.
I remember as a teenager, around 15 years old, meeting a boy older than me while camping in Colorado. It was at the height of James Taylor’s career with Sweet Baby James, and Carol King’s song, You’ve Got a Friend. This boy reminded me of James Taylor (which, as you may have surmised, I had a big celebrity crush on), and he had a guitar and sang James Taylor songs to me around the campfire!
We became pen pals for a while. I imagined we would meet again and be boyfriend and girlfriend. When he stopped writing, I was so sad-for so long. But this is a juvenile, idealized version of sadness. It has no real basis except that he sounded and looked a bit like my celebrity crush.
Now, as a full-grown, adult woman, how much of my perspective of loss to a romantic situation is attached to the idea and how much to the actual person?
We tend to idealize people who we have loved, especially if the person has passed away. It’s as if, all the unhealthy aspects of the relationship have melted away. I’ve seen my aunts and mother do this. The person is a saint! Who cares if the same person was emotionally unhealthy and brought damage to others while in human form?
Do we idealize our losses because we feel, and yes, sometimes know we will not recapture or have the experience of this person in our life again?
Which part of our Achy Breaky Heart is a true representation of the experience, the person? And what part is really a piece of ourselves, of our own psyche working out our inner truth which has nothing to do with an outside dynamic in the form of a relationship?
How do we give ourselves compassion to move on from our loss and sadness? How do I learn where I really stand in the truth of the relationship. Was it the person or an idealized version of the person? My idea of romance and relationship?
In other words, what part of my loss toward the real, flesh and blood, beating heart and soul person I shared time with, is a real loss for him or her? And what portion of this experience with this person is a mirror toward me? Toward my journey to be real and loving with who I am in this time?
That’s a tricky question. I can’t take the love, the loss, the person’s characteristics that I love and dump in a centrifuge, separating out the real and the ideal.
Just like I cannot separate the person, the time, and the loss into definable chunks and release. It may take moments, months or years. I believe honoring the person, the experience and the love is the only way, I can make peace with the sadness and with the loss.
And very important, I have to honor me. I have to love me as much and more as I loved that person and the experience I had with him or her. Because when all is said and done- who we invite into our lives is some aspect of who we are and what journey we are on in this world.
I’m going now, to listen to Dumbledore’s Farewell from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix! So sad!