Lament is a word that we rarely use in our daily life. It’s a word that’s gone out of style, so to speak, even though the 25th book of the Bible is named in relation to the process of lamenting (Lamentations). But I was on the bus today, thinking about some things that cross my mind on occasion, and I realized what I was doing was lamenting. Dictionary.com defines lament as, among other things, “to feel, show, or express grief, sorrow, or regret.”
As I look back at some relationships and friendships I’ve been a part of that have now ended or turned sour, I lament the fact that there was this time when things were different than they are now. I look back with fond memories of the things we did and fun times we shared that will never happen again. I think about what memories and experiences I might have had to have given up to avoid the new status of these relationships, and I wonder if it would have been worth giving those days up to be in a different place.
“Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” — Alfred Lord Tennyson. (And I believe this can be applied to more than romantic love, too.) (Some other good quotes, too)
Sometimes I agree with Mr. Tennyson, and sometimes I don’t. I was having a good (online) conversation last month, talking about how relationships change, and my friend made me realize that certain situations aren’t made to last, so we shouldn’t be disappointed when they don’t. A girl confided to someone I know that she really liked “the chase,” and sometimes it was the chase she wanted more than the relationship that might come out of it. And I would agree that there is something to be said (positively) for that “questioning/exploration” time for two people, but I’ve lamented that sometimes that leads to a souring of things. And I’ve enjoyed being in relationships, too, but when the end means things are different than when they began, I lament. But I’m also coming to terms with the fact that things can never (and shouldn’t) stay the same; they need to develop in one way or another — and sometimes the development is negative.
There are memories which I cherish deeply, but as I recognize that they are now only memories of feelings and circumstances which will never return, I lament.
I think lamenting is a healthy and necessary process by which one comes to terms with an issue and looks toward the future. I wish you all beautiful lamentations as you find peace with your life’s disappointments and look forward to all the glorious memories yet to be created.