“Life is about choices. Some we regret, some we’re proud of. Some will haunt us forever. ” Graham Brown
What a paradox life can be. You heal the most when you feel the worst. I have lost parents, a child, my job, my home, my savings, and what I thought my future path was. With some of the losses, I chose to grieve. With others, I just moved on. The ones that I tried to play through still haunt me just as Graham Brown said they would. Now is a time of loss for so many. Lost jobs, lost dreams, and even lost life are now a reality of the world’s daily headlines. I have no way of knowing what you have lost in this strange time. What I do know is how severe the damage can be by merely ignoring loss.
Some Loss Is Recoverable
When you lose physical possessions, it hurts. Some of the things we obtain in life are superfluous; some touch our hearts. We have been created to be around others, not live a life alone. We gain some possessions to provide a better life for our loved ones. When we lose these valued things, we feel a real loss. The day I gave up my house, locked it for the last time, and drove away, is still a memory etched in my brain. It was something that I had provided, proudly, for my family. I remember those feelings to this day. Grief is the container that holds the emotions that you feel from loss. When you mourn, you are opening that container and letting it spill out rather than bursting. I hurt, and I don’t mind saying that. I mourn over that loss to this day. I have to accept the loss, deal with the grief, and mourn it out. I’m not done with the process yet.
Some Loss Is Humiliating
When you suffer loss publicly, it tests you differently. Suddenly you have lost your sense of who you are and how you’re perceived. The pain is not merely the loss of employment, but the loss of self-image and reputation. While you try to deal with it with anger, you have to accept the grief you feel and mourn it out in truth. It may be years ago, but I’m only partly over the anger, the confusion, and the sadness. I do realize that the only way to get over this is to mourn it with time. That means talking about it, sharing your raw feelings unashamedly. You are admitting the pain within. That sentence is easy to write, but a challenge to execute. Mourning isn’t a constant emotion; it comes and goes like the ocean waves. And like the waves of the sea, there is a healing feeling as they wash away.
Some Loss Is Forever
Dealing with death is incomparable. When loved ones are lost, you have to grieve that you can’t have that hug again, the conversation you wanted to have, and the walk you wish to take one more time. It is a loss of possibilities in the future. That fact alone makes this loss the toughest one to surmount. Channel your grief into mourning. Let it out. Share it with a loved one. Unabashedly give in to the honest pain that accompanies death. Death and the loss it brings are inevitable. Recovering from the loss is attainable, but not without challenging effort. And don’t try going it alone.
Summing It All Up
Life is about change. Nothing ever remains the same. You have a choice to make. You can grow as change comes, or you die a little each day. If you ignore the losses you encounter in life; you will never grow. You will only suffer. Loss is a detour, an unexpected change in the path you had planned. It doesn’t have to alter your destination unless you can embrace the move as well. If you were headed down the wrong road, grieve, mourn, and correct your path. If the destination was true, accept the detour, mourn the change in your plan and go on with a determination that respects memories of what was. Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines! Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover!” The bowlines that are holding you back are what is lost. The antidote is to face the grief head-on and sail into your future.