What Happens To Love When We Die?

What happens to love once someone has made their transition? I have pondered this question ever since I heard the lyrics to the song, “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”. The lyrics touched my heart in a way I couldn’t shake off. “Can you please tell me, where do broken hearts go?  Can they find their way home? Back to the open arms of a love that’s waiting there? If somebody loves you, won’t they always love you?”  

What happens to love when a relationship ends? Whether the relationship is over due to a break up or the death of someone we love, what happens to the love we felt for that person? Does it slowly die? Does it go away? Perhaps it lives on. I believe the love we feel for another never dies.  I believe after much thought, it only changes form.  

When we marry, we are so in love we want to spend the rest of our lives with this person. Our love is vibrant, new, exciting, and there are hopes and dreams for the future with this new love. When someone experiences the loss of a soulmate, there is so much love that was poured in the relationship, what is the surviving partner supposed to do with all that love now?

It has been said, “He’s my brother from another mother”. Regardless of the gender, we can feel closer to a friend than a relative.This is why the loss of a close friend can be such a devastating loss. Friends live through years of struggles along with shared laughs, creating years of rich memories and a history not even a relative can replace. 

There is no greater love than that of a parent for their child. There is nothing more heart breaking than the loss of one’s child. While a parent is processing their emotions and grieving the loss of their child, what happens to the parent’s love for their child or children? 

After the loss of a loved one, we must not only learn to live without them in our lives, but also we must learn to live with the love they have left behind.   

After listening to the words of that song so beautifully sung by the late Whitney Houston, I needed to know, where does love go? Could it be love doesn’t go anywhere? Is it possible that love doesn’t die or go away? Maybe love only changes form? Is it somehow transformed into something we aren’t aware of?  

Apparently, I am not alone in this quest to know what happens to love. A quote from J. W. says, “Love, where it ever existed before, does not cease to exist. To speak of love in the past tense is not to know love’s purpose at all. Love goes on, being always a continuation and an extension of love.”

Marianne Williamson says, “Love knows how to form itself. God will do his work if we do ours. Our job is to prepare ourselves for love. When we do, love finds us every time.” 

An author I have admired for years, Leo Buscaglia wrote many books on love, especially loving someone in the moment. Regarding transition Leo says, ”I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought, and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love. What love we’ve given, we’ll have forever.” 

Is there a storehouse of love inside of you? I feel comforted in knowing all the love I have ever felt for someone, even a pet, is real. Not only is it real, it never went anywhere. In fact, I can close my eyes, and in my mind’s eye, I can recall and replay memories that put a smile on my face and a warm fuzzy in my heart. Yes, I believe love is real, it never dies or goes away. Pure love is real and forever. 

Janice Hoffman

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