There are gifts we can give to those in our lives, offerings that take a wide variety of shapes, all have their own weight but some are heavier, some matter more. One, that I believe comes with more heft and gravity than any other, is the promise that no matter what comes, those we love will never have to be alone again. I think we live in perpetual fear of this, of loneliness, of the emptiness that comes when we feel unheard, unseen, left solitary and searching. I think this fear influences so many different decisions we make, forcing us into settling for jobs we loathe, relationships that do not fulfill us, situations we think are the best we’re going to get. It’s after this the suffering comes, it’s after we resolve that it’s better than being alone, that we understand that loneliness and being alone are separate beasts that share a similar growl.