Sunday, June 28, 2009

Living Losses

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.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Little Thought on Life

Life is short. Yeah, yeah. I know you've heard that before. But it really is. It's the greatest gift that we have and yet so many of us take it for granted.

Each day is special and precious. And you never know which day may turn out to be your last.

That being said, I wonder if today was your last day what would you do? How would you want to spend your last few hours? And if you knew if was your last day, would you regret what you did yesterday?

The days go by so quickly, especially now that I have a little one. And I watch so many people just passing the days by. Always thinking about the future. "I'll be happy when I get...when I have...when I am...". And they may be successful when it comes to accumulation of stuff, or status. But are they really happy? And when do we decide enough is enough?

Or there are those who live in the past. Holding grudges, living with regret "If only I had; If only I hadn't". It makes me sad really.

I realized the other day that I really do live in the present. Which I have decided to be a good thing. My house may be messy, the dishes not done, and yet there I sit snuggling on the couch with my husband. And I'm okay with that. Because if I died today, I would rather have spent the evening before with someone I love than worrying about whether or not my clothes are put away.

It's the relationships we have that really make us special. The energy we give off. Do we make people happy? Do we treat others well? Do we love, ourselves, others? What do you want to be remembered for?

Because you never know. You just never know.