Just before they introduced me on The Drew Marshall Show on Saturday they coincidentally and unwittingly started playing one of my favorite songs, “He Stopped Loving Her Today” by country music legend George Jones. I know and love Johnny Cash’s cover of the song. I had never actually (wittingly) heard any of George Jones’s own music before, though I bought an album of his for a woman I was in a relationship with a long time ago. He was one of her favorite artists. He died on Friday. Just in February I placed “He Stopped Loving Her Today” at the end of a post about how I will always love almost all the women I have ever loved:
A friend of a friend once described romantic love as being mesmerized with another person’s uniqueness. It relatively rarely happens that your brain reorganizes everything to interpret someone as wonderful all the way down to their flaws. It is rare we get to appreciate anyone that thoroughly and with so much enchantment. It’s, honestly, a terribly neat thing that I just love experiencing. I love loving. It’s an invigorating, enthralling, and richly appreciative way to think and feel about someone or something. As Nietzsche once put it, “we love life, not because we are used to living, but because we are used to loving”. That describes my love of life, if no one else’s.
So, I never stop loving any of the women I loved. I rarely think about most of them. I almost never think of getting back with them. I don’t pine for them. My love for them never disrupts my next relationships or makes me love a new person with any less rapturous infatuation or commitment. But I’ll always love them. I love loving them. I love remembering them and what they meant to me. I love having people who when I think about them, I can find their uniqueness still mesmerizing in a way that never completely wears off. I love that there are people that I can think about and always have this twinge of fascination, however muted with time and distance.
So, again, this time on the occasion of George Jones’s death, here’s one of the great tributes to enduring lost loves, this time by the first person to record it: