I've shopped this question around a little bit to my friends, and none of them seem to have an answer. Some of them look at me with kind pity in their eyes or touch my arm in a show of sympathy when I ask it, because they know why I ask it.
But the question, without any further buildup, is this: Why is there such a fundamental flaw in the societal construct that the inevitable end-product of love is pain? Three months ago yesterday, my father lost his valiant fight against his own deteriorating heart and since then my life has been layered with a more or less constant underpinning of pain. Sure, there have been moments of joy - laughs and good times and the company of friends and family and new children born into this world - but when I'm alone, when I start thinking about things a little too deeply, the pain of losing my dad comes back in full force - an raw, open wound that is showing no signs of healing.
Why on earth was love architected to end, invariably, in pain? The Tralfamadorians, Vonnegut's benign aliens in the brilliant "Slaughterhouse Five," had a much healthier attitude towards death: a shrug of the shoulders and the words "So it goes." Would that I could compartmentalize my feelings towards my father's passing so ably!
It's not just the death of a parent, either. Every time love ends, pain begins. Ask the owner of a pet; ask a jilted lover. Anywhere you have love, beware; soon there will live pain.
Lennon was wrong. Love does in fact die - and it turns into something pretty goddamn dark.