Since my last post, I have had numerous encounters with friends and family suffering from various types of loss. It occurred to me that my post on grief might be continued or expanded at this time to cover what is "loss" and why do we grieve.
Loss is, according to the dictionary, "fact of losing or state of having been lost; that which is lost; defeat."
Perhaps it is my "cup-half-full" philosophy, but I see loss as more of a catalyst for change, than a defeat. Let me explain...
Within the past few years, three of my immediate family died. (My Mom, Dad and Brother) The loss of these family members has been the catalyst for awareness of how precious our time together is for many members of my family, including myself. Since these deaths, my relationship with a surviving brother and sister-in-law and several of my cousins has become closer.
It reminds me of the old Carter Family hymn, "Will the Circle be Unbroken," which talks about how difficult it is to say goodbye to a loved one, yet, there is the hope, the belief that something better awaits us.
One thing is important to understand. Loss is not simply about death.
Over a year ago, I "lost" my job. I was unemployed for six months. I was sick physically, mentally and emotionally. However, some of the best writing I have ever done, happened during this time of change. "Loosing" my job gave me time to look inward, finding words that when placed together created poetry that was powerful and insightful. My loss was also my gain!
Think about it, we loose friends when we leave a school, move to another town, or change jobs, but we soon find others. We loose family and friends when relationships breakup, even when the breakup is amiable, but those that remain close usually become closer, still. We loose our homes through foreclosures, or due to changes in employment, or because we have grown up, starting our own lives. While this can be devastating, it can also bring us to a new place with endless new possibilities. We loose our health as we get older, as well as our hair, our muscle tone, our hearing and/or eyesight. Loss is simply a part of life. However, if we stay open to possibility, we can grow in our wisdom, learning to share it with others without becoming demanding. In addition, by allowing others to help us through this time, we give them the gift of accepting their assistance which helps the giver become more compassionate and understanding. It is a win/win situation.
Once we realize that change is the only constant in life, we can begin to see loss as an ally instead of an enemy. We can begin to grieve in a healthy way with understanding of the process. ***Big note here: Grief Is A Process!***
Therefore, while Webster may define loss as a defeat, I will continue to see it as a catalyst for change. I will continue to strive to make the change as positive as possible. It is the only way I can continue down the Path, head held high with a song in my heart. The circle will be unbroken!