My husband has been inconsolable since he learned that a dear friend’s 14-year-old daughter died in a car accident last Thursday. I’ve tried talking with him, holding his hand, just sitting quietly next to him … but his sadness is overwhelming.
I understand why: No matter the circumstances, the death of a child always seems senseless and cruel. And no matter what, our friend will forever be changed. The irrevocability is profound.
That’s why I debated whether to give my hubby his Valentine’s Day gift. I had (somehow) resisted flipping through the pages of Peter Turnley’s book French Kiss when it arrived, so I hadn’t seen the images — and I worried they might ring hollow against the heartbreaking news.
But eventually I decided to present the book to Esteban, somewhat gingerly, with the suggestion that we page through it together. Within moments we were smiling back at the happy couples and reminiscing about our own favorite Paris moments.
Life is fleeting, no matter how long we live. But if we’re lucky enough to love — and to be loved in return — then at least our brief existence has meaning.
Today I offer my heartbroken condolences to our friend Bill and his family … and my heartfelt thanks to Peter Turnley for his reminder that even if love inevitably leads to loss, it’s still worth it.
Love is the meaning of life.