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Can We Avoid the Valentine Void?Barry Lee Coyne Salem-News.com
We need to invent a social support network to validate lost souls as worthy of continued respect if not affection.
(SALEM) - If Love truly makes the world go around, there must be plenty of people out there sadly missing the mark. Who among us will address the void of those widows and widowers? Of the divorced and those cast aside in the fragments of broken-off relationships? These pains do run deep.
Taking up the belief that no man or woman is an island unto themselves, we must all gather around and offer support. And Valentine's Week is the right place to start.
All those advertisements would likely delude us into thinking that love is all about without exception. But there does exist a counterpoint. That is what we call the "Valentine Void". One can call this a by-product of crushed expectations. An abyss of amor into which creeps a pervasive space called emptiness.
Months and years alone cannot duly measure the intensity of this void. Each couple has invisibly defined its own depths of connection. Being uprooted, by death of one party or demise of those close feelings can tear the relationship asunder. We who have suffered so now find our psyches twisted out of shape. We mourn our former selves because we've placed our identity into a duality. Once it is severed, we feel less than whole. Can society heed this void? Perhaps we can join hands and incrementally begin to find a partial solution.
We need to invent a social support network to validate these lost souls as worthy of continued respect if not affection. We definitely need to facilitate the healing process. Let's begin with the Elder Generation and work out way backward agewise. Senior centers can consider developing an annual Reconnection Day on Feb. 15th, one day after Valentine's. Community centers and local libraries can follow suit. Book reviews dealing with post-breakup healing can take the spotlight also.
This would become an affirmation of universal love to strengthen that linkage. Individuals from every generation require that reconnection as an alternative to isolation.
That hour to reconstruct is now. That reconstitutes who we truly are as a people.
NOTE: B. Lee Coyne first emerged as a Caucasian cub reporter for the Black weekly NY Voice and was assigned to cover numerous civil rights struggles. It has left its indelible mark on his mindset. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
B. Lee Coyne, a NYC native, blends three careers: Journalist, Counselor, Educator. His writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines on the East and West Coasts and the Southwest. He loves the art of the interview and has covered such persons as Dr. King's 1963 "Dream" speech and Sen. William
Proxmire as an advocate for the environment. A global traveller to some 30 countries aboard, he speaks Spanish semi-fluently and very rudimentary Russian, Tagalog, German, Arabic and Hebrew.
Lee's legacy here in Salem includes launching the Salem Peace Mosaic at the YMCA and doing a radio talk show for KMUZ/88.5 FM. It airs Mondays and highlights lives of proactive, productive senior citizens. He invites you to contact him at: email@example.com.
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