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Never Take Love For Granted

  • 5 min read

How my grieving neighbor taught me to cherish my relationship

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough.” — Melodie Beatty

Who do you love the most in your life? Who is your favorite person in the world? And what if this person were gone. Forever. How would you feel?

Recently, our neighbor lost his wife after around 60 years of marriage. The day his wife died was the day our baby was born. ‘That’s life. It’s a tragedy,’ he said with tears in his eyes. ‘One comes, one goes.’

The day his wife died was the day our baby was born.

But in amongst his grief, he took the time to give me the advice that I shouldn’t take life with my favorite person for granted. I should enjoy every single moment because a love relationship is the most precious gift in life.

Be Grateful For What You Have As One Day You Might Not Have It Anymore

How is a man who, after 60 years, has lost his girlfriend, lover, wife, mother of his child, and life companion? This is what he told me:

‘On the outside, I’m fine. But inside I am suffering. It’s horrible. My future seems to have stopped since Kelly died because I am on my own now and I just live from day to day. I feel as if I have been put in a nightmare and left there. It’s frightening to think that I am going to be like that until I die.’

‘Most of the day, I want to ask her something. I want to talk to her: So many moments when I would like to know her opinion on something, her point of view. I smell her perfume in the apartment. But there is no-one to talk to anymore. It’s so quiet. I feel lonely, although my son keeps me company as often as possible because I cannot stand being on my own. Daytime is frightening, but night-time, when I’m lying in my bed trying to find some rest, is worse.’

And he continued and said to me: ‘Your love relationship is your past, your present, and your future. Without it, there is nothing. Who am I without her? What future do I have? Sure, I can live in my memories; I have shelves full of photo albums and videos.’

Your love relationship is your past, your present, and your future.

‘It’s funny how I took our relationship for granted all these years. Sometimes I got angry with her or we argued. Today I’m grateful for every second we spent together. When I was as young as you are, I didn’t think about it. Be Grateful For What You Have As One Day You Might Not Have It Anymore.

What If Your Friend, Your Partner, Your Family Was Gone?

After our conversation, I went back to my apartment, to my husband and baby, embraced them, and said that I loved them (because I miss them even if we aren’t in the same room). And I put more emphasis on it than on the other days. Because the scenario I played in my mind, the tragic loss of my little family, felt unbearable. I love them so much. I’m unbelievably blessed. I couldn’t breathe without them.

Then I went one step further. Which other person I would miss most? I worked out that my close family consists of seven people. If one of them were gone, my life would be in disarray. So I consciously wished them good health.

Trauma Serves To Disrupt The Daily Grind And Focusing On The Wrong Things in Life

Psychologist Michele Crossley says, that ‘the experience of traumatisation often serves to fundamentally disrupt the routine (…), throwing into radical doubt our taken-for-granted assumptions about time, identity, meaning, and life itself.’ And yet, when we’re not going through this trauma, we’re not always grateful for our families.

Often in life, we only take time to be thankful for the big things. The things that seem worthy of being grateful for. For example, climbing the career ladder, getting a bigger paycheck, buying an apartment or house, traveling to an exotic destination.

After all, these are the things we tend to focus on. The rest, the people around us — those who make life worth living — we quickly dismiss and forget in our daily grind even though they are the most important.

The people around us we quickly forget, although they make life worth living.

Your husband you may take for granted, your kid, your family, may be driving you close to the edge, but they also fill your heart with true joy. Be mindful of those people. It’s all well and good to focus on your career or other goals, but what if your friend, your partner, your family was gone?

Final thought

My family has lead to the greatest happiness I’ve ever had. And I am incredibly thankful for them!

Cultivate the habit of being grateful. Wake up each day with a grateful heart and give yourself a reminder not to take love for granted.

Don’t take love 💖 for granted,


Wait, there’s more about l.o.v.e.

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