Lamenting on the events of the past week and the topic of “loss” in this blog post.
We often say “Sorry for your loss” by way of condolences at funerals. Yes, the loss of a life is something to mourn but as I was standing in the receiving line at a funeral for someone very dear to me on Saturday I wanted to yell “Stop being sorry!”
Perhaps I am I bit eccentric in my way of thinking, but I was not feeling a loss. I was feeling inside of me what can only be described as gratefulness that I was blessed to have this,man in my life for however short a time it was.
To me, loss is when your glasses go missing or a tooth falls out and you keep worrying the area constantly conscious of something being missing. The absence hinders you but eventually you adapt.
I could say that last week was the absolute worst 7 days of my life because one minute I was feeding a man, who was like a father to me, an omlette in the hospital and the next I was watching him take his last breath. The reality is, I was crushed, saddened, angered, hurt, lonely, panicked, and feeling like my world had collapsed. Once I got over the initial shock of it all my mind started playing slides of our times together. I could see his smile, hear his voice, and the memories wouldn’t stop. Maybe, the storage of memories is the mind’s way of protecting itself in moments like this when such profound saddness threatens to snap that single cord of sanity we all so desperately cling to. The flashbacks remind us of happier times and we are filled with the warm glow of events long passed relishing each memory like a child watching a favorite movie.
The memories also remind us of how blessed we are when certain people enter our lives who are worth mourning when they are gone. People who love us as we are, who teach us life lessons, who take our hands in time of need, and take our hearts when we vow never to love again. The passage of those lives through the pathways of our own adds color, clarity, vibrancy, new ideas, new ways of doing things, and new ways of viewing ourselves and the world.
We gain more than we could ever lose in these situations because we are left not with an empty heart but a full soul, a scrapbook overflowing with the simple blessings of just living and letting others in, if just for a moment to touch our lives.
Yes, there is immeasurable pain when someone we love dies but there is also immeasurable joy to be found in the simple act of calling upon memories created and lessons shared. As for loss, the way I see it is that the sense of loss is simply a fear that we will return back to the person we were before our lives were changed and enriched by the person who is no longer with us. We fear we cannot be strong on our own, that we have lost our reason to keep up the fight when indeed we have only become tougher and more able to face the challenges ahead.
With all of this being said, I hope those of you who take the time to read my ramblings will stop for a moment and realize that when something good goes away in your lives it is not a loss but rather the time to reflect on how much better your life became thanks to that one person or event. Be grateful and not mournful of your blessings however long or short their duration and look forward to what lies ahead. Death does not stop time for those left behind, it simply makes time that much more precious.