We live our lives striving for something; striving for happiness; striving for a sense of wholeness… But today I wondered, for the first time ever, if we could ever be really whole.

She died—I was 14. They say that when you lose someone their memory lives on in you—sure, maybe you remember…but you still feel empty. You desire to see them, to touch them, to hear their voice, to simply be in their presence—a piece of you is gone and has left an empty space.

He died—I was 15. They say that if you believe in an afterlife you should consider that the loved ones you lose are there, together, in that afterlife. You work to believe that. You envision them together. You hope they are comforting each other as they are not there to comfort you. You remember them and then desire sets in—a piece which you cannot fill.

As we move along in our existence we add on to our lives with new friends, with new loved ones, with new pieces of our existence. We expand our relative selves with more and we grow. We don’t replace the pieces we have lost our space just expands and those spaces stay, they morph, they persist.

I wasn’t ready to expand my relative self—to let others in. She pushed me, she pulled me, she wouldn’t let me rest.

She died—I was 33. When I met her, when I learned to love her, when I realized she was expanding my relative self I didn’t notice that she was trying to fill that empty space. No, not replace the ones that I had loved and lost, but to make that space not reside empty. To help me know that they had created a space in me and that it could be filled again. She filled my empty spaces and added her own space.

I won’t work to be whole…those pieces are gone and the spaces where they were are now empty. I know that I can never be whole… At times the spaces where the pieces were may have a new resident but in time other pieces will fade away and new spaces will form.

They died—and took pieces of me.