There are probably no other words that are as powerful in a persons life as the words "I love you" spoken to them. Those were the silent words that were spoken at our creation. Those were the words that were silently spoken when He stretched out His arms and hands as they nailed them to the cross. The only reason we can say those words, or to even love one another, is because He has loved us first. He is the standard by which love makes its way through our lives: In our loving Him and our neighbors.
How powerful are those words? Imagine hearing "I love you" everyday, every week, every month....every year, then all of a sudden, at the next sunrise you no longer hear them. I hope you never experience that, for it is devastating. How often one hears the complaint that yes, I know he loves me, I just wish he would say those words, and not just assume I know he loves me?
When in the confessional I am so reassured when I hear the words of absolution, hearing them with my ears and know that I am forgiven. If I did not hear them, I would always wonder...did he forgive me? Am I fooling myself in thinking he forgave me? That is why our confession needs to be heard by a priest. It is Christ that forgives, but His words flow from the priests lips for us to hear. And so it is with "I love you". We need to hear them. But sometimes...we are no longer in a situation where can hear them spoken to us due to circumstances. No, not because we have lost their love, but because things change in our lives and it is no longer possible to hear them and it is unbearable.
I know that when those words were spoken to me, or written to me, they were not said in a flippant manner, as if there was no meaning or substance to them, or just uttered out of habit. The person meant it. They carried the full weight of that person's feelings toward me. It is a tremendous feeling knowing that, that when those words, "I love you" were said to me, they were meant FOR me and no one else.
I know I'm still loved. I have no doubt of that. None. But I will no longer hear it said. My heart has been damaged and it will never be the same. The sad part is? It was no ones fault. In the early sixties, there was a musical with a title that sums up much of what I feel..."Stop the world: I want to get off."