The Radical Beauty of Love

Jan 12, 2020

I met Bri when I was twenty-seven and I fell for him hard. We loved each other like crazy, we made a baby, and we taught each other eternal lessons. We had seven years together in our bodies, before cancer stole his beautiful body away.

Brian’s love was unconditional. I know that this is a tricky topic and the two of us had many heated discussions over the years about unconditional love. I don’t even fully know what I think about it now. But one thing is clear, this was the type of love that Bri gave to me effortlessly.

He wanted me to just be me. That was always enough. Even if it inconvenienced or didn’t benefit him. He saw me fully within my soul’s purpose. And it was radical to find someone who was truly like that.

Bri was a musician and he was never that great about being in touch when he was out on the road. When Brian was within a new experience, when there was something to be learned; he wanted to be there 100%. He hated cell phones and facetime. He didn’t like being “out of the moment”.

He really, really tried over the years, for me. But being in constant communication from a distance, never came naturally to him. He had this annoying, pure faith that the two of us were soul mated and meant to be. And that we didn’t need to constantly text each other to know that.

It took me years to understand that this didn’t mean that his love was lesser than the love of his bandmates who were constantly calling their wives and girlfriends. To the contrary, for Brian this was love. Love for both of us on our individual and forever connected journeys. And he always came back to me with so much love and devotion.

I remember when he was out on one particular tour, I got pissed at him and went out dancing with some friends. I was an idiot in my twenties and decided to flirt and lead some poor guy on at the bar all night, just to prove I could. I ended up dancing with him late into the night after all my friends had left. At one point, he leaned in to kiss me and I froze.

“Sorry. Gotta go,” I said.

I turned away from him and ran. I ran out onto the street and all the way home, without turning back. I locked the door to our apartment behind me. My heart was racing and I felt like the biggest dummy of all time.

When Bri got home from tour, I told him immediately. I felt so guilty.

He laughed at me! He laughed! He said that he was glad I had had that experience for myself. And that he was so grateful I had decided to leave that bar and come home. To our home. He was grateful that I continually chose to be with him. He said that he would keep trying. Then he pulled me in and kissed me and said that I was “the best”.

I was livid. And I was melting. Damn that man.

Having this type of love and then losing the physical manifestation of it, is brutally painful. It leaves you questioning whether it was ever really there at all.

Your practical human earth-side self has trouble grasping on to something that suddenly feels intangible.

But grieving and “losing” Brian has left my poor broken heart bigger and more open than I ever knew was possible. Bri taught me how to love in a partnership. And I will forever be grateful for that.

What an incredibly precious thing it is, simply to learn how to love.

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