I woke up from shift grumpy as all heck and on the commute back home I was racking my brain as to why I felt out of my skin. Was it the rain? Fatigue? Hunger? The desperate need for a shower? I kept questioning myself how I could feel so sad when I had finished a great shift and was ready to enjoy my week off.
Then it dawned on me why I was out of sorts and ran into my home for a good cry.
We had a call around dinnertime and without getting into any gruesome details a woman is now a widow after witnessing her husband of many decades die in front of her. I worked on her husband for what felt like an eternity, strong and sure of every movement, action and decision made at that call. But it was his time. Simple as that. And nothing we could have done would have made a difference. We went back to the hall, had chicken caesar salad and apple pie for dinner (funny how prevalent meals are in our firehall lives) ran a few more calls and bunked down. And while I figured out why I felt sad, is it selfish that the reason I felt sad had not so much to do with the death of this man but more to do with this bringing up feelings of my own loss?
Like right now, as tears fill my eyes, partially blinding me from seeing the keyboard, I question if it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved before? I am single now, and as much I am enjoying the peacefulness, stability, and freedom that I have, I wonder if as humans, we are supposed to be without partners...... this is not to say I would settle for anyone, but still...........
I wonder if I would be as stoic and strong and a bit angry like the wife was yesterday. Or if I would wail and weep. It just made me realize that as powerful as we like to think we are, we never have the true choice in when we get to say goodbye. Hopefully when we do say goodbye to a loved one it is with grace and no regret. So in answer to my own question, with a resounding yes, it IS better to have loved and lost. Hopefully I will be able to love again. Maybe not now. But one day soon.
These are the calls that humble me to the core.