My friend once had a pet snake, which he valued a lot not only because it was some kind of a rare breed, but also because he took him as his friend. The snake unexpectedly died one day and until this day it is unclear how or why. My friend was gutted and had mourned the snake for long. After some time I asked him whether he plans to get a new snake and suggested he could even get the same breed to make an illusion that nothing had happened with the previous one. He replied he has absolutely no intention of buying any other snake in his life because he doesn’t want to go through all this pain again. He also said that after losing this one, he feels like none other can replace his old snake friend.
This seemingly insignificant conversation really got me thinking (actually, everything gets me thinking). I know these things happen. In fact they do happen more often than we think, every day even, but in various forms and shapes. We find and lose, cling and let go, begin and end things all the time. How we cope is what matters here.
Any change is hard to cope with at first. We mourn the people (or pets) after we lose them. We miss them, long for them. We think about the happy times, as though it was the ultimate experience that is never ever coming back. After every new experience I get – a new boyfriend, a new friend, new housemates, new city to live in – I always tend to worship the right-here-right-now presence and think nothing will ever be better than this. After living in Prague and having a smashing time I thought I won’t be able to live anywhere else, and here I am – after more than a year living in the UK thinking how stupid of me thinking I won’t be able to fall in love with another place. After a break up with someone I could not imagine kissing, touching or being with another person, but after a while time healed all the scars and all of sudden I found myself happy again in the company of another one. After moving out of my house in Southampton I felt like I won’t be able to live with any other people. But I did. And I was happy.
My friend actually never needed to replace the snake. In fact we never replace one for another, one boyfriend/girlfriend for another, one pet for another, one friend for another. It is different each time. Those people, those happy times don’t go away. No need to replace them because they stay. Maybe not in the form or shape that we were used to, but they have a place in our hearts forever, in the memory department of our brains. They have shaped us, changed us and left a trace on us. We are not now what we had been before knowing them.
We go through pain everytime after losing someone or something. We will go through it all over again many times. But that’s just how life is. We FEEL. The pain is necessary.
People can get used to anything. That’s what is so special about us. We adjust to our environment, with more or less success but at the end we do. And we do just fine. I’ll close this post with my favourite cliché: time heals everything. It is a huge one but it is so true.