I’ve known longing since I was 25.
And I turn 40 this year.
And I’m not talking about the kind of longing I have for lasagna or a new haircut or someone else’s clean-smelling car.
I’m talking about deep human longing—the kind that’s about human relationships. The kind that makes your heart swell until it fills up your rib cage and makes it want to burst. The kind that’s an ache that you carry around with you forever. The kind you feel when you’ve lost a parent, or a partner, or a dream.
Or a child.
It’s mourning and wanting and aching and loss, all wrapped up in one.
And I want to write about it a bit just because I never have before. Not directly. I want to talk about it because I believe a lot of people know it—a lot of us carry it around. We’re missing someone, whether they’re gone or not. And we’re trying hard every day to work up enough courage and grit to deal with what’s left. With what’s in front of us. And so we wake up in the morning unexcited. We roll and push and drag ourselves out of bed to face another day. We stand up and face the sun and work up a smile. When we do feel gratitude—because we still do!—tears roll out of the corners of our eyes and stream down our strained, silent faces.
This is the face of a person who is missing someone.
This is who we are, collectively. People missing people.
We know longing.
And I want to spend some time talking about that.
If you’d like to add to the conversation, please do.