Valentine’s Day is a special time to come back to love.
Rather than short changing yourself and stopping at cheesy Valentine’s Day cards and gifts, we’re inviting you to remember the power of love.
The power of love is deep, especially when it comes up against the incredibly human idea of death.
These 10 love stories, poems and scenes will inspire you to love more, love bigger, love deeper, and lastly… to love yourself!
Grab some tissues and maybe a glass of wine, and enjoy these 10 epic stories about love and death:
We’ll start things off with this incredibly inspiring love story that begins the movie “Up”. This is one of our favorite love stories because it shows the phases and seasons of life through the power of love. And, the best part is, that it’s a story told with no words! A truly beautiful inspiration:
2. Long lasting love poem
From a silent love story, we’ll begin to work our way into words, but not quite a full story yet. Although this poem is only two lines long, it’s so powerful. It says so much, by saying very little at all:
One of my favorite poems by the famous Mary Oliver who just passed away this last January. This poem teaches us the importance of letting go in love. To love fully and let go is one of the greatest gifts humanity teaches us, and Mary Oliver expresses it so beautifully here:
“To live in this world
you must be able to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.”
A classic modern love story told with such grace, we couldn’t write a post about love and death without including The Notebook. This is a very unique and special story about two people who have subconsciously decided to pass on together. Although it’s a fictional story, it is loosely based on the love story of the author’s grandparents, which gives us hope for such incredible love:
What a unique opportunity to share a story I’ve told myself about love and death. When I was 3 years old, my father passed away, and the love story of him and my mother is so beautiful, I can’t help but share it. This story has inspired me to love bigger and bigger as I get older, and I’m happy to be able to share it with you this Valentine’s Day:
“The one that stuck out most to me read was on a post-it note. It read: “I’ll never love you more than I do in this very moment. Please remember that.” That note was written just a few weeks before Dennis passed away.
After reading it, I sat in my bed and stared at those words and cried for a long, long time. Throughout my entire life, I didn’t know what unconditional love even looked like, and in this very moment, I was staring it right in the eyes.”
6. “Therapy” by Nayyirah Waheed
Nayyirah Waheed tells us about healing a broken heart in this poem. We included this one in here because the journey of love includes picking up the pieces after the love is lost in this physical realm. And embracing grief and pain is such an important part of the grief process. Although hard, it is also the way through. And the unique way Nayyirah Waheed puts it, is in a way we cannot replicate ourselves:
This scene from the movie Click will give you all the goosebumps. This isn’t so much a romantic love than it is an unconditional, familial love. And this story presents such a common theme we see in today’s fast paced, technology-crazed age. The theme of working so hard, you forget to live. Hopefully this scene will re-inspire you to spend more time in your heart, and less time in your head this Valentine’s Day:
8. “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye
This poem was written by the poet, Naomi, on her honeymoon-turned-disaster in South America. She thought it would be a fun adventure to travel from one tip of South America to the other. And the adventure was unlike anything her and her husband could imagine or plan for.
After watching a passenger on the bus she was riding get brutally killed on the side of the road while they took a bathroom break, Naomi walked off the bus, sat down on a rock, and this poem “wrote her”, she says. A nice reminder that in order to make room for love in our hearts, we must also see the other side of it:
Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend.
9. A real life love story (via ASD)
Featured on our friends’ blog over at MyASD, in their article 7 Enduring Love Stories Death Could Not Separate, this was our favorite real-life love story we’ve read in years. Similar to the story of the Notebook, this story of Norma and Gordon shows us how connected we can become in our hearts when we love someone. Love is a powerful force, lest we not forget that:
“Married for 72 years, Gordon and Norma Yeager were lifelong companions who rarely left each other’s side. In 1939, the couple got married within 12 hours of their engagement on the day of Norma’s high school graduation.
For more than seven decades, Gordon and Norma traveled, worked and raised their two children together. They even participated in the same clubs and ran family businesses so they could remain close to one another at all times.
Norma and Gordon spent their lives side-by-side and that is the same way they left this world. The couple was driving into town when a car accident sent them both to the hospital with injuries. Both Norma and Gordon were highly concerned about one another, asking their children how the other was doing until it became clear to the hospital they should be moved into the same room.
According to witnesses which included family and hospital staff, when Gordon’s breathing stopped, his heart still continued beating on the monitors. It wasn’t until Norma passed an hour later that it finally stopped, leading their loved ones to believe that Gordon waited so they could enter the afterlife together.
‘All their life has been together,’ said the couple’s daughter, Donna Sheets. “So, when it came to the funeral home, the family asked, ‘Can we have them put in the casket together holding hands?’ Because that’s the way their life was.”
We’re going to finish things off with an inspiring story that isn’t about loss, but rather about a love that will never die. This kind of love is special. The love motivational speaker and author Lisa Nichols talks about here is about SELF love. Give it a watch before you run off, as we know it will inspire you greatly:
What are some of your favorite, most touching, or inspiring stories about love and death? Share them with us in the comments below!