"Though I know I'll never lose affection For people and things that went before I know I'll often stop and think about them In my life, I'll love you more." The Beatles "I can't live if living is without you." Mariah Carey "A widow's refusal of a lover is seldom so explicit as to exclude hope." Samuel Richardson All of us have romantic predicaments; widows (and widowers) seem to have even more. And if they find another lover, while still loving their late spouse, how can these two lovers reside together in their hearts?For widows, is loving again worth the effort of having to adjust to another person?And is widowhood the proper time to fall in love again?
Romantic love is a central expression of a good, meaningful, and flourishing life.Without love and desire, many people feel that a large part of them is dead.The lover is perceived to be "the sunshine of my life," and for many, without such sunshine, decay and death are all around.Even in one of the darkest period of history, the Holocaust, people fell in love despite the risks of expressing it.People did not relinquish love, and love even enabled some of them to survive the horror and death around them.
Death is perceived to be associated with love in various ways.Thus, romantic breakups are often described as a kind of death.In the words of Dusty Springfield, after such breakup," Love seems dead and so unreal, all that's left is loneliness, there's nothing left to feel." Personal relationships without love are also often associated with death.We speak about "dead marriages" (there is even an internet site entitled, "Married but not dead"), "cold husbands," and "frigid wives." Since love is perceived to be the essence of life, the end of love can cause some people to wish to end life as well, to sacrifice their life or to kill others for love.In The Name of Love, men kill their wives and commit suicide when their wives intend to leave them.The French famously refer to orgasm as "la petite morte," or "the little death." Once orgasm is reached, it is in a sense the end of the loving experience preceding it, and hence it a little death.