When I was in college, I took a course on the Psychology of Death & Dying. It was one of the best classes I took in my 4 years there. During the course we talked about how we are affected by different types of losses. When someone dies, we know what to do. Typically, the community comes together. Family, friends, neighbors all gather to celebrate the life and loss of our loved one. A funeral or celebration of life is held. A grieving process is followed and eventually life moves on.
But what about the other types of losses we have in our life? How do we go about recognizing and honoring those losses? The death of a beloved pet. A miscarriage. The inability to even conceive. As a society we haven't really established a process of dealing with these losses.
And how do we go about dealing with the loss of someone who still walks among us? A broken friendship. Severed family ties. How are these losses dealt with?
In some ways, I wonder whether dealing with this type of loss is more difficult because we don't have a procedure to follow. There is no community outpouring of support. How can there be when there is no true death? Are our feelings of loss really accepted? Are they ever understood and respected?
So, how do we deal with the feelings of loss? How do we handle the pain, the regret? The sorrow we feel in our hearts?
I write these things because my heart is heavy. I've lost someone very dear to me who I care about deeply. And yet, he walks. I've prayed, and prayed. I've handed my burden over to my God. I've cried countless tears. And yet the pain is deep.
I've held onto hope for change for so long.
As a Christian I don't fear death. I know where I'm going when I'm gone and I celebrate that I'll live on in a place far greater than this earthly world I currently call home. I know my spirit is greater than this body. Death is okay. I know how to handle that.
But I'm not too sure how to handle this. The death of a dream. The loss of friendship. The loss of love and all the potentially fun times that could have been. There is always hope that things will get better. That someday he'll come back. But as more days pass, the gap grows wider. And with each failed attempt at reconciliation I suffer yet another loss. Death Repetition.
It's no different than death. And yet, it's almost harder to deal with because at least with death you can find closure. But here I go through the mourning process, over and over and over again. It's exhausting. And yet that glimmer of hope still flickers. It's almost out. But not quite.
And so I'll continue to pray that he'll find his way home. That this seesaw of our relationship will someday find balance. And that there will once again be peace.
9 months ago