Before I started reading Cecelia Ahern’s P.S. I Love You, I always believed that it would be harder to lose someone if they chose to leave, rather than if they were taken from you. I figured that at least then you would know it wasn’t their choice to go, you would know they still loved you, and that given the choice they would still be with you.
But I was wrong. P.S. I Love You showed me that in reality this makes it ten times harder. When someone chooses to leave you, it gives you a bit of closure. Even if you can’t understand it, or if you don’t want to, or eve if you hate them for it, or hate yourself for it, after time you begin to understand that they couldn’t have been the one for you if they could walk away from you. After time, you can accept it.
When someone is taken from you, it a whole other story. How can you move on knowing that that if you both had your way you would be together forever? How can you open yourself up to someone else knowing how cruel the world could be? How could you even accept what happened enough to move on?
This is what Holly Kennedy grapples with in P.S. I Love You.
Some people wait their whole lives to find their soul mates. But not Holly and Gerry.
Childhood sweethearts, they could finish each other’s sentences and even when they fought, they laughed. No one could imagine Holly and Gerry without each other.
Until the unthinkable happens. Gerry’s death devastates Holly. But as her 30th birthday looms, Gerry comes back to her. He’s left her a bundle of notes, gently guiding Holly into her new life without him, each note signed ‘PS, I Love You’.
As the notes are gradually opened, and as they year unfolds, Holly is both cheered up and challenged. The man who knows her better than anyone sets out to teach her that life goes on. With some help from her friends, and her noisy and loving family, Holly finds herself laughing, crying, singing, dancing — and being braver than ever before.
Life is for living, she realizes — but it always helps if there’s an angel watching over you.
P.S. I Love You is a beautiful story about what happens when the world interferes once you’ve found the person you want to spend forever with. Personally, it’s hard for me to use the term “soulmate” because I believe that nobody has just one soulmate, if we did that would be such a dumb system. I think we get more than just one thing, or person, in this world to love.
But I do believe that there are some people who are fated to find each other and fated to be together, because when you find someone you love so fiercely, that connection is rare. And, also, because I believe we’re only fated for the things we’d choose anyway. A perfect example of this is Holly and Gerry.
Maybe Holly and Gerry were fated to be together, but just for a while, and then their time passed. And if they could’ve known that beforehand, maybe it would’ve all been ok. Which leads me to the deeper meaning of P.S. I Love You: fated doesn’t always mean forever, but that doesn’t mean what you had wasn’t any less real.
“Some people go through life searching and never find their soul mates. They never do. You and I did, we just happened to have them for a shorter period of time than we hoped for. It’s sad, but it’s life. So you go to this ball, Holly and you embrace the fact that you had someone whom you loved and who loved you back.”
― Cecelia Ahern, P.S. I Love You
Just because their chance is gone doesn’t mean they didn’t love each other: they did, with their whole hearts and then some. They offered and gave each other everything they had. But they weren’t meant to be forever. To find that guy again, Holly has to let Gerry go. Which was Gerry’s final wish for her.
“She felt relieved to have known him, to love him and to be loved by him, and relief that the last thing he saw was her face smiling down on him, encouraging him and assuring him it was OK to let go.”
― Cecelia Ahern, P.S. I Love You
Because, the truth is, it always feels like there is just one person in this world to love, but if you open your heart, you’ll find somebody else. Then it’ll just seem crazy that you were ever worried in the first place, because, chances are, there will be someone else you’re fated to find.