We may stop and wonder at certain instances throughout our lives who we are, especially in times of confusion, identity crisis, or change. I’ve come to realize we are defined by the connections we make along our journeys and are the sum total of those we love. This is why loss hurts so deeply because a part of us is taken away, leaving an empty void impossible to fill or replace.
Three years ago, I lost a friend and to this day, I miss him dearly although he is always present in some way. The wound is partly healed but the gap is still there. My love lives on in his absence, but part of me is missing the person I was with him. I liked myself better when he was around. He loved me back and accepted me with all my flaws as I did him. I was a better person in his eyes, and I believed the good he saw in me. That went missing when he left.
Without our relationships, we are lost, and this is why we hold on so steadfastly to them even when they are long gone.