And I hate that so many people I loved are either gone or dead.
I was thinking about this the other day and realized something.. Warning, what follows is not "happy go lucky", don't read it if you're not in a good place.
I think through my life at the accumulated hurts. And back to when I was a kid, the biggest problem I had was "what to wear to school". I basically had no real hurts (even though they felt like it at the time). Now, looking back, I realize I didn't know what hut really was. Now I do, and, ahead of me, I see more and more of it. And the hurts are worse than the pleasures, which makes me very sad and hopeless sometimes. In fact, sex is basically the only pleasure that's come to my life after becoming an adult. I knew love before, I had friends, I didn't have to worry about money (and am finally getting back to that). But, absent sex, almost everything else has just been more and more hurt. My childhood pets died. Some of my friends died. Many of my family members have died, including those very close to me. My W cheated on me. And I look at myself today compared to the person I was 20 years ago and think "You have gotten very little additional pleasure and TONS of additional pain".
And that's the thing, in some ways, it's all about accumulated hurts. The memories of the way things used to be better and never will be again. Could be an A, the loss of a loved one, an illness or lifelong injury. But it all adds to the hurts without much (if anything) to balance it out. The older we get, the more of these accumulated hurts we have, and, IMHO, the more jaded we become. And it all comes down to the non-reflexive nature of pain vs pleasure. Imagine the most painful thing you can conceive of right now. Now imagine the most pleasurable thing you can conceive of. Would you trade 10 minutes of the pain for 10 minutes of the pleasure? Or 1 minute of the pain for 1 day of the pleasure? If you said yes, I put it to you that you're not trying hard enough when imagining the pain. Because, as humans, our pain meter seems to go from 1 to 100,000,000,000. Our pleasure meter goes from 1 to 10. And that's a sad thing to realize, especially when you couple it with the concept of "accumulated pain" as I outlined it above.
In some ways, I feel like I'm always going to be in the negative. I've accumulated so much pain, some of it deserved, most of it just a result of life circumstances and some of it intentionally inflicted (my W's A, for example) that I feel like if it were money, I'd need to declare bankruptcy because there's just no chance at getting back to "even" from where I am. And I've had a good/very good life. The pains I've felt, except for my W's A, have been pretty much either "normal life tragedy" or self inflicted. And it's just very sad to me when I think about how much worse it could be; again, the capacity in humans for pain knows nearly no bounds.
I read a lot on this, one of my favorite books (although, again, it's very depressing) is Better Never to Have Been by David Bentar where he explores this concept in detail. But, from where I sit today, it's hard to disagree with him. And his basic argument that pain > pleasure is hard for me to refute because it seems to describe my personal life and experience well.
Anyway, sorry for the downer. And your not alone missing your loved ones, that's another scar that most of us carry and all of us, if we live long enough eventually will.