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Peter J. Oszmann

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Who needs Love?…
By Peter J. Oszmann
Last edited: Friday, October 07, 2005
Posted: Friday, October 07, 2005

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Recent articles by
Peter J. Oszmann

• Thoughts… just thoughts… (Part 1)
• Thoughts… just thoughts… Part 2
• About the Book -“Remember Us”
• About dicks and arseholes.
• Dotcomology
• Bringing up kids.
• 2 Blog Or Not 2 Blog.
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Who needs love?… who needs the pain of it?… Well, it seems we all do, no matter how much it may hurt.

                                   "The Love that is not deep is quickly broken"

(Chinese proverb)


 What do I know about love?…


Not a lot it seems. I am not a young man any more and from the perspective I survey love from, it seems that I have been labouring under total misapprehension about its nature. I used to think it was an uplifting feeling, an experience of some heavenly light. A feeling to warm you, an emotion to make you feel great. I was wrong.


It isn’t like that at all. Love hurts.... really and truly hurts.... It makes you suffer... It churns you up... it burns you out.... and I am not talking about that silly, youthful feeling of “being in love” either... It is not about an infatuation, a burning desire to copulate with another human of the opposite or the same gender, depending upon your sexual inclinations or fantasies. I am talking about real love... the love that raises you from the rank of a mere human up to the dizzy heights of a fellow sufferer... Let me illustrate what I mean:


You walk into a hospital ward. Not just any ordinary ward but a ward in the intensive care unit.

The place has an aura of its own... it is like walking into a different world... a surrealistic landscape, where ordinary life is in suspension and is transfigured into an almost ethereal existence.

From the moment you ask permission to enter, till the time you leave, your very own life is also suspended. You exist in a vacuum. You become part of a highly charged system where some distant, external, alien force takes charge of life and death. You are in netherworld... You get sucked into the silent, rhythmic electronic euphony of the monitoring equipment, the slow hissing flow of oxygen, hushed voices and a supercharged tension, which seemingly fuses with your own heartbeat and pattern of breathing. You are no longer in charge of your own life. Here, anything can happen.


You step in... and the visual impact of all the equipment, flickering lights, multicoloured displays of heart, lung and other vital functions - appearing as patterns of moving charts - the raised hospital bed and a multitude of plastic tubes, electric wires, infusion equipment and other assorted instruments totally overwhelms you. Your heart misses a beat.... Beads of perspiration appear on your forehead and you feel an invisible pair of hands around your throat compressing your airway...  You are only a visitor....


You step near the bed... Amongst the white sheets a motionless, fragile human form... lost in a jungle of vital lines... barely breathing, only just kept alive by the respirator and the multitude of tubes entering via needles, piercing through the human flesh, pumping chemicals into veins, arteries and vital organs. The scene is reminiscent of a horror movie about space invaders, conducting experiments on helpless captive humans. You feel like screaming... but you cannot muster enough strength to utter a whimper even...


You look at the pale, sallow face amongst the white sheets... Your heart misses a beat, than another beat...then races on… And you hurt… Deeply and agonizingly… This is pain... Intense, excruciating pain of your soul...That is love...


It is an unwanted, un-wished for experience. Nothing uplifting... nothing gratifying... You’d rather be without it... but you cannot do a thing about it.... You are at the mercy of events beyond your control.... There is nothing you can do, but perhaps pray.... and hurt....  Hurt like hell... and you are not even allowed to show it... You have to be in control, hold together, hide your feelings...

That is love... Who needs it?… who needs the feeling… who needs the agony of it?… 


What do I know about it?.... Not a lot it seems... But I am learning… learning the hard way… Learning through pain… The scene I described above I experienced some seven times in the last fifteen years. Three different times with my daughter under life threatening circumstances, once with my mother a few years before she passed away and another time when she was dying and twice with my wife after her two major life saving surgeries.


As a young man, when I was a medical student, I was trained in all kinds of emergency situations. Attended to casualties, worked in operating theatres, assisted in major operations, worked in the pathology department carrying out post-mortems… I thought I was “battle hardened”… But nothing prepares you when it comes to seeing your nearest and dearest under life threatening circumstances.

All your training, all your rehearsed “detachment” flies out of the window and once you are in that situation, you too become a helpless victim of the circumstances… and you hurt… you hurt badly…

My training in yoga and meditation, my studies in oriental and Buddhist philosophies likewise proved useless when it came to the “crunch”. There seems to be no foolproof remedy for pain when you love.

It seems that pain is an essential part of the human condition, an instrument to teach you lessons, to teach you values… I certainly learned a great deal through pain… I am still learning… I am learning to love… the hard way… the way it matters…


I used to jest about the “three women in my life”, my mother, my wife and my daughter; three women who at various times in turn gave me some real “hard times”. I used to say that in a previous existence I must have been an awful bastard to a poor woman for fate to repay me in this existence and punish me three fold for my previous sins. I jest no more… if love be punishment, then so be it…

Perhaps after all intense pain is needed to learn about love, to learn about our human nature, to learn about our divine heritance…


Who needs love?… who needs the pain of it?…  Well, it seems we all do, no matter how much it may hurt. We all need it, because without it we would not be human, without it we would be lost, without it we simply could not exist… Without love – even with all the agony it causes – this world, this life would be truly unbearable…

 © P. J. Oszmann  (January 1999. Revised October 2004)

Web Site Jew Be or Not Jew Be

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Reviewed by Tracey O' 10/8/2005
Peter, This is the most honest scarey feeling I can't even imagine how much pain you must feel. The way you have written it here is remarkable in the way you have captured honesty the intensity of it all as an alien defensless powerless breathless and motionless. No amount of training can ever prepare you for true love's times
You really have my heart skipping beats along with you and Peter I wish there was a way to make all a happy outcome for you and your family so near and dear to you. I will be always thinking about you as I always do and wish so hard on that star tonight and every night as I have been. Thank You for opening up your emotions heart and a wonderful way of telling the world what Love really is all about.
I wish I lived in England close to you just to give you a hug.
any jobs and homes there for me and this group of mine close by?
You are Always in my thoughts, My Traveling Angel

All our Love Tracey & Gang 42 xoox's & (c :)'s every day. Don't ferget my friend ok?
Reviewed by Patricia Behnke 10/7/2005
Nice read. I was captivated from the very beginning though I had no idea where I would end up. I very much agree with the sentiment.
Reviewed by Hiren Shah 10/7/2005
I would say a very lovable article. Its true that you can never have enough of it and it is true that it is the ultimate healer. The references to how a "battle hardened" person can also be vulnerable in intimidating circumstances made particularly interesting reading. It would not be out of place to mention that one should try to love unconditionally.

Books by
Peter J. Oszmann

Jew Be or Not Jew Be; The Story of a Perpetual Alien

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  7. Is He Your True Love? One Way to Know For
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