Uh, Claudius? That’s ROMANTIC LOVE you’re thinking of. Familial love generally isn’t categorized with sparks and fire. Sparks and fire do die out, it’s true. But familial love is not a fire. It is more like an ocean that is always there, always something to return to, even when you cannot make the trip anymore, or the ocean dries up (heaven forbid,) it will always be there – the tide going in and out, sometimes providing solace, sometimes picking you up and throwing you into the sand. Familial love doesn’t die – even for those members of a family that might not deserve one’s love. I have a friend whose mother has always been quite wretched to her and last year she finally made a break. Last year, she was 42. It takes decades to shake one’s self out of dysfunctional horrible love – to extract one’s self from that ocean, if you need to.
I am mostly fortunate. The unkind members of my family were largely outsiders and so only temporary. When I return to the ocean, it is mostly to sit by it and muse.