i still believe that love wins

I still believe that love wins.

I don’t believe that love controls, but I believe that love wins.

Cable footbridge, Velika Korita Soce, on the Soce River, Slovenia

Cable footbridge, Velika Korita Soce, on the Soce River, Slovenia

I’ve written about this many times before, in various contexts.

In fact, I wrote these words about love and social justice last year:

“The truth is: we have no control, and that's okay, because LOVE DOES NOT CONTROL.

Love just makes an offer. 

Love offers the truth, and companionship to deal with pain that the truth so often brings.”

Those words are still true for me today in the context of death and grief:

Love wins not by conquering, but by companionship.

“We are not alone in the dark with our demons.” —I Have Made Mistakes, The Oh Hellos

Whatever happens, we will get through it together: that is the promise of Love.

When Libby was sick for the first time, in 2014, we didn’t know what the outcome was going to be.

During that time, Andy and I spoke many times about our lack of control, and our fear about the possibility of losing our daughter forever.

And during that time, we resolved that we would LOVE, fully and completely, so that whatever the outcome, we would know for sure that we had done the only thing we could do:


The terrible thing is that all the love in the world won’t cure cancer.

All the love in the world won’t prevent a heart attack.

All the love in the world didn’t heal my daughter’s illness.

The thing is, we want to conquer.

We don’t like this kind of light-in-the-darkness winning.

I don’t like it at all.

I just want my daughter back.

I want to rewind and make it not happen like it did, that stupid stupid fatal day.

I want control.

I really do.

And I can’t have it.

And this is where I need Love to win for me: when the worst has happened, when my world has crumbled.

Love is arms around me: Andy, my kids.

Love is the weight of Michelle’s head on my shoulder in the middle of the night.

Love is friends, family, strangers, who write and say they care.

And this is how Love wins: by its presence, walking through the dark with us.

The other night, we went to Club DaDa in Deep Ellum to see Birdtalker live. They wrote this wonderful song about their marriage, called My Lover.

There’s this one line that is everything about how I want my life to be:

“I already know my last words will not be regrets or advice.”

I can’t stop the bad things from happening.

I can’t stop death, my children’s, my lover’s, my own.

But I can live in such a way that my last words will not be regrets or advice.

My last words will be Love.

I know what my last words were to Libby.

I texted her, “I love you so much.”

She said she was feeling better that day, and I said, “I’m so glad.”

Wherever she went that last day, my love went with her.

Love didn’t control the outcome.

But my love never, never let her go.

It never will.

That’s how Love wins: it never fails.

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