Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost…

Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost…

“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.”

-Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem
In Memoriam:27, 1850

Growing up, I often heard my grandmother say, “She would prefer to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all!”  She was talking about me. Have you ever thought about this? Do you think it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all?

By this time in your life you’ve probably experienced heartbreak. That’s one form of loving and losing but there are others. Have you ever lost a beloved pet? After the time of grieving passed did you hesitate before adopting another pet because that at the end of 8 – 12 years you would face such loss again? What about a friendship gone sour? Have you ever been so scarred by loss that you vowed to never risk facing it again?

The scope of this question is larger still. Life as we know it here, ends. Along the way we lose our parents, our friends, aunts and uncles. If you had the choice, would you return for another life? Would you take a chance and grab it for the potential to experience love even though loss will inevitably be a part of the package?

This author suggests that when we are talking about romantic love and specifically, marriage, the answer is no. Yet this author writing for the same site, responds with an emphatic “Yes!”

What’s my answer? My grandmother knew me well. I would prefer to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. Oh there were times, I’ll admit, like when we lost our first dog, Brandy, when I wanted to shut my heart to the possibility of getting another pet (then along came a little black kitten named “Pepper”). There were other times, too, when I was deep in the dating phase [Read: “heart-break” phase] before I met my husband-to-be, when I wondered if it was worth it. But it was and it is and I’d choose it over and over and over again.

What are your thoughts about this, your feelings? Was Tennyson right? Is it better to have loved and lost…than to never have loved at all?

photo credit: Julien haler

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About The Author


I am passionate about writing and community building. I’ve written a book about healing and happiness, The Happy Place, as well as a Community Building book, Sounding the Drum: Community Building in the Digital Age, now available at any Amazon store. I’ve been through life changes that I thought were the end of my world, but I’m still here. I never know what will happen next. Isn’t that what makes life interesting?