I do truly believe that people are meant to be in our lives for a specific purpose - not everyone is meant to be there for a lifetime. Sometimes you meet someone along the way that seems to come out of the blue, but in the end they teach you something and make you feel stronger about yourself. The tricky part is recognizing when it's time to let them back out of your life. I mean you will always have the imprint of them on your heart or in your mind, but to see what their lesson was to teach you and then to stop wanting more is usually difficult. It is for me anyways. Once someone is in my heart, as family, friend or love, I'm not one to ever really stop caring about them. I don't know that I truly ever let anyone go that means something to me.
So it brings me back to my initial question - if you knew someone was only meant to be in your life for a short time, would you still allow them into your heart knowing that you would ultimately have to say goodbye? It's a hard thought to process and I'm not sure we can ever really know the answer since it's usually not until the time you part, that you realize that person isn't meant to be in your life forever.
I've been thinking a lot lately about the people who have come in and out of my life - people who fought hard battles yet were taken too young, friends that I have had forever that I cannot imagine my life without, the strength of family that loves each other fiercely, and others that may have been brief encounters which ended up still making an impact. Though sometimes it is hard to feel a strong connection to someone and know they can't be in your life forever, we have to try to focus on why it is that they were sent to us - the lesson they were meant to teach us or the gift they were meant to give. And then, leaving a special place for them in your heart, let them go.
Looking back, I don't think that I would have ever changed a thing so far in my life. It's the dance that is the important part - the journey through life - not the endings or the pain afterwards. I think life would be too boring without "the dance". It's usually the pain of letting go that shows us that we did truly care about that person or people. Perhaps feeling that hurt in a way is a good thing because it demonstrates that yes, we did open ourselves up to love and that person was meant to leave a footprint on our path.