Brahms’ gold watch was stolen one day from his rooms which he never locked. When the police came and urged him to take the matter up officially, he simply said, “Leave me in peace! The watch was probably carried away by some poor devil who needs it more than I do.”
That’s a good attitude in the face of misfortune.
It is true we all face loss in a variety of forms; some more onerous and sad than others.
Many people feel lost in the world as they have never felt grounded or that they matter.
That is a tragic way to go through life. It would take a heap of work to turn that beginning around.
Then there are the realities of life and losses that occur sometimes through no fault of ones’ own.
Loss of a job, loss of a friend. Stolen things.
The facts of just living always include loss.
Loss of good looks, a pleasant figure, one’s hair, strength and so on. Aging brings with it a slew of changes that are felt as loss.
Sometimes there is a loss of faith in a variety of sources. What we once counted on or held dear may be seen as different and we shed that part of ourselves. When strong values or areas such as religion are involved that may be a yeoman’s task as that stuff is so ingrained from childhood on that to get rid of it seems almost sacrilegious or a betrayal of sorts. It can leave us unsure and even guilty for quite a while.
Not having the skills and quickness we once enjoyed can be a big sense of loss.
The issue of memory and forgetting invariably comes up.
The whole business of self-esteem gets caught up in these changes.
We feel diminished. Maybe even irrelevant. Depression is not unusual as all of this takes place.
We are no longer who we used to be.
Now when it comes to our close and loving relationships any loss here can be all consuming.
If the loss is temporary due to a misunderstanding or hurt feelings that can be worked on. When people care about one another they figure it out.
If the loss is permanent as through a death that loss is not getting fixed so quickly or easily.
Have you ever heard a widow speak badly about the man she loved who is now dead?
They all become saints. No matter what they were in real life.
Getting over that kind of loss is for some monumental and for some it is never going to happen.
Their lives revolve around that person, the past, and all the memories.
Often, they become almost obnoxious and you want to scream, Get over it!
For some they live with the memories and go through the motions of day to day living. Their heart is never totally in anything as before.
When in love the connection and joy of life is there. When that goes it feels like a death of self.
For some, like when a dog dies, they get a new one. But for many, and depending on the age, often life is never the same. That is a loss and part of the heart goes with it.
While I am not addressing the loss of parents, or heaven forbid, a child; they are separate and unique to the situation.
Life dishes out junk and we all have to deal with lots of it from time to time. Loss can offer an opportunity to develop and grow and change. It can open new doors. It can show us strength we didn’t know we had.
We can put it to good use to help others as well.
Shared grief and bad times offers us a closer bond with other people, and they may come closer to us as a result.
So, fear loss not…. you’re still HERE!
“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair.” – Chinese proverb
What losses have you experienced? How did you get over them? Were you changed as a result?