Better to have Loved and Lost, then not to Have Loved at All???


Dear Friends,

This is one of the rare departures from my usual political punditry.

What is love? That esoteric, fleeting emotion– a painful, powerful feeling that can often make or break us. Something I often wonder about as I am remarkably traveling into my golden years.

This morning while eating my Sunday morning eggs benedict at the famous City Diner in West Palm Beach, Florida, I noticed a young couple, probably in their mid-20’s, enter the restaurant and sit near me in a booth. He was not particularly an impressive specimen, while she was exceptionally attractive. Regardless, the affection, the touching, the smiles, the looks, were obviously apparent of some extreme, mutual admiration between the two young people. There was an impressive light shining off their heads. Maybe, they had just made love. Indeed, there was something really happening.

Lord Tennyson wrote “Better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all.” Love to me is having trust, having an admiration beyond someone’s faults, and unconditional caring for that person. Indeed I have had that in spurts throughout my life, but never a total fulfillment.

I am now alone with a beautiful cat that does love me unconditionally.
I admit it is not enough. I felt such envy and a moment of sadness while observing the passionate young couple. I wondered if in 50 years, after all the familiarities, successes, and failures, in sickness and in health, will they at 85 years of age walk down the street together holding hands. It always impresses me when I see that enduring love.

Regardless, beyond all the turmoil and pain of a horrible pandemic and a country seriously divided, those of you who have somebody… Please cherish them. You are very lucky and blessed.

Indeed, I have loved and I have lost and I am not sure Tennyson’s words are the truth. At times for me, the pain of that loss was unbearable, so not so sure it was better to have loved at all? Seeing that young, unconditional expression of love this morning stimulated that romantic side of me again. It briefly brought tears to my eyes. I am such an emotional softie sometimes. So be it.

As always, any thoughts or expressions are welcome and appreciated.

Respectfully submitted,

JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network

About Judson Bennett

Captain A. Judson Bennett was a life- long resident of Lewes, DE. He served the maritime industry for 33 years, primarily as a Delaware River Pilot, guiding large ships to the Port of Philadelphia. Captain Bennett has been an active and consistent entrepreneur over the years.

He was elected as a Lewes City Councilman for 6 years. Afterwards he ran for the Sussex County Council as a Republican, and with 20 thousand people voting, lost Delaware’s closest election by 3 votes to an 8 year incumbent. Abandoning his personal political ambitions, he became the Republican District leader, advocating conservative values. Captain Bennett became a lobbyist in the state legislature advocating among many ideas, financial literacy concepts in education. He managed several political campaigns, including one for Governor of Delaware and one for the US Senate against VP Joe Biden. He is now the owner, operator, and writer for the Coastal Network which communicates regularly with over 6000 people throughout the State of Delaware.

Captain Bennett is a graduate of St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, DE (where the movie “The Dead Poet’s Society was filmed) and also graduated “Magna Cum Laude” from the University of Delaware with a BA in Criminal Justice and an MA in Liberal Studies.

He is now a Widower, living in West Palm Beach, Florida. Captain Bennett has one son, three grandchildren, and one great grand-daughter, all who live in Richmond, Virginia.