It’s officially over, the relationship or the friendship you devoted so much time and effort to. All the support you offered meant nothing to them. All the sacrifices you made proved to be irrelevant. All the good times seem to be buried underneath all the mistakes.
Getting your heart broken — there is no pain like it. You regret even putting yourself in a position to be heartbroken. You think to yourself: What a waste of time. What a waste of love.
But it wasn’t a waste. Time spent loving someone is never a waste because love can never be wasted. Why? Because no matter where they end up, or where you end up, people never forget those who loved them.
Whether it is remembered as the thousands of less than flattering pictures taken, as the moments spent in comfortable silence, as the three and a half hour phone calls, as the shoulder to cry on, or as the fits of laughter that lasted a couple seconds too long, love is remembered.
It may not be clear at first, endings are often foggy and hard to understand. But one day, they might be driving down an old road and find themselves nostalgic as they recall how satisfying it felt to have you sitting in their passenger seat.
They might turn on the radio to a song that means nothing to any other person, but so much to them… and you.
They might be re-organizing their room and come across some faded photos of a night you both hardly remember — they’ll probably notice how absolutely ridiculous you both look, but they’ll also notice how much you both didn’t care as long as you were by each other’s side.
They’ll read through old messages and realize that even though it ended, even though you’ve both moved on, you brought them happiness, you brought them hope, you offered peace of mind, stability, support; you helped them become what they were capable of becoming, all because you loved them.
Once the fog clears, people recognize the difference between those who loved them and those who didn’t.
The people who gave up easy, the ones who left as soon as things got hard, the people who only ever cared about themselves, they are forgotten. The people who stuck by in dark times, the people who cared enough to sacrifice, the people who genuinely loved, they will never be forgotten.
It is true that the people we love are not always the people we spend our lives with, and it is also true that the only thing that lasts forever in this world is the impression we leave on it. That’s really all we have in this world, how we are remembered.
If our careers, our savings, our possessions, our status, all mean nothing when we’re buried beneath the ground, then the only thing that means anything is our essence, how we impacted the world beyond what is tangible, and how we made people feel.
Legacies of love are not a waste.
previously published on ThoughtCatalog.