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  • Writer's pictureKaren Andrews

Loved and Lost: Nuts and Bolts?

Updated: Aug 30, 2021

I’m sure everyone has heard the quote, “'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”, by Alfred Lord Tennyson. To summarize in a nutshell, it means, “Having experienced real love in one's life is worth the pain of losing it, compared to never having experienced such love in the first place.”

For the record, here it is in its entirety:

I envy not in any moods

The captive void of noble rage,

The linnet born within the cage,

That never knew the summer woods:

I envy not the beast that takes

His license in the field of time,

Unfetter'd by the sense of crime,

To whom a conscience never wakes;

Nor, what may count itself as blest,

The heart that never plighted troth

But stagnates in the weeds of sloth;

Nor any want-begotten rest.

I hold it true, whate'er befall;

I feel it, when I sorrow most;

'Tis better to have loved and lost

Than never to have loved at all.

Love is great and truly amazing…but I don’t know that I completely agree with that statement. If you have loved and lost you know what I mean. As for me, I've experienced the gut-wrenching, agonizing, unquenchable ache, and debilitating pain of multiple heartaches. I experience one heartache, take a bit to heal and give it my all once again – let it heal and give it my all once again. I heal a bit only to hope that it will exist the next time. Sometimes the hope that real love exists hurts more than the actual heartache.

Then you have those unexpected encounters where love dances your way unexpectedly. You forget how comfortable it is, and how it fits like a weathered leather glove, perfectly molded to you and your every movement.

However, I am convinced that good ole Mr. Tennyson, the author of the above poem, must have never experienced a TRUE lost love. I for one, would rather not having experienced love at all than to feel the fleeting, fickle, and agonizing pain of being lost.

No, time does not heal "all wounds". Some wounds will NEVER heal. You just build on top of the memory and the pain so that it falls further down in your memory bank. You simply work to put distance between the pain and your current actions of the day.

As for me, some pangs have been there for almost 30 years – never left. Some for 25 years, yet others for 10 and 6 years respectively. None of the pain ever goes away. I have no magic answer, or great ending here. All I can say is you rebuild fresh each time and work to become whole yet once again. You keep facing the sun, and keep moving forward.


Come to think of it, I’m reminded of a soft ball chant we used to say after our games as kids.

Nuts and bolts

Nuts and bolts

Boy–did I get scr#wed!

Who am I kidding?! I like that poem better. Life sometimes sucks, too.

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