Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Doctor Love: Losing faith in love? Why you shouldn't

By Sigrid Salucop

Lost faith in love? Here are a few of the saddest yet most touching love stories of all time –let’s hope though that these won’t happen to you unless there’s a happily ever after involved. (Afraid you’d have to deal with yet another summary of Romeo & Juliet? Fear not, you won’t find the story of those teenagers here).

Heloise & Abelard

Photo via amolife

"Perhaps by mingling my sighs with yours I may make your sufferings less, for it is said that all sorrows divided are made lighter."  

          ~Heloise to Abelard in one of her letters to the monk

This love story involves that of a nun and a monk whose poignant love letters to each other became world famous and later on published as a book. In 1100, Pierre Abelard decided to study at Notre Dame in Paris. Being an outstanding philosopher and teacher later on, Abelard was hired by the canon of Notre Dame himself to tutor his niece Heloise. The two fell in love (Heloise and Abelard not the canon and Abelard) and Heloise conceived a child. They later married in secret but this love affair didn’t have a happy ending in sight. Thinking that Abelard would runaway and not marry Heloise, the canon sent men to castrate Abelard and forced Heloise to retire to a convent.[1]

Pierre Abelard became a monk and devoted the rest of his days to learning while Heloise decided to become a nun. Their misfortune did not stop them from loving each other and this love was shown through their letters. They met once again and for the last time during a ceremony in Paris. But what happened to their child? Heloise conceived a son and named him Astrolabe. He was only mentioned a few times in their letters and there are no other accounts as to what happened to the boy. Six hundred years later, Napoleon’s wife Josephine read about the story of Heloise and Abelard. Moved by their story, Josephine asked her husband that the remains of the couple be entombed together in Paris. To this day, Pere Lachaise Cemetery is still visited by lovers from the world over.

Odysseus & Penelope

Odysseys & Penelope, Oil on Canvas by Francesco Primaticcio 

Loving someone means you might have to sacrifice a few things. No other couple in history understands the meaning of sacrifice better than Odysseus and Penelope. After their wedding, Odysseus had to go to war. Penelope knew that he might not return but she still resisted 108 suitors who wanted to take Odysseus’ place. The two waited 10 years to see each other again. If you think you have sacrificed enough and can’t sacrifice anything anymore, you should take cues from Homer.

Pocahontas & John Smith

In the song Fever by Ella Fitzgerald, Pocahontas and Captain Smith were mentioned. Their love story however did not have a happy ending even if her father already accepted John Smith as a son after Pocahontas saved Smith from execution in 1608. Smith was injured later on and had to go back to England. According to legend, when the native Indian princess visited the fort to get news from Smith, she was informed that John Smith had already died. She later married a John Rolfe. It is said that she visited London with her husband to meet John’s friend. Pocahontas did not know that that friend was John Smith. During this meeting, the two saw each other after eight years but this was the last time that John Smith ever gazed at Pocahontas’ face.  

Loving someone takes a lot of hard work (sometimes at least) but if one compares what these couples went through, the task that you think is so difficult to do or the decision you think is so hard to make might just be a piece of cake. 

[1] There are other versions of this part of the story but this one is the most popular. In other versions, it was Abelard who sent Heloise to a convent because her uncle the canon of Notre Dame became very violent towards Heloise.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive

The Diary Archive