SOMETHING interminable happens: a loved one is lost; a marriage partner (to death or divorce); a son or daughter; a mother or father; a career ends or a dream is over; any combination of these — any loss. It’s a loss. And whatever’s lost isn’t coming back! Wow, I said it. I acknowledged it. It’s real. And nothing I think or say or do is changing what cannot any longer be changed.
Loss is like that: something’s changed and it cannot any longer be changed back the way it was. What was no longer is. What we never prepared for now has taken place. And feelings, to that end, those we never anticipated, come to define our experience of life.
Not all experience, just some of it: missing what’s lost is inordinately normal. That’s because it’s so logical to miss 1) what we’re attached to, and 2) what we can never have.
The significant some: not all of recovering loss is missing what’s lost. But it’s a significant some. It only needs to be a flicker of a moment every month or so, or randomly in a year, and there are shockwaves as tremors that shoot out from the soul into our lives for a time to come. It’s the unpredictable nature of such an event we dislike the most. If only we could tap into what causes the fretful ruction within our emotions and spirit. It’s possibly our vapidly panicked lack of control, and not the unearthed feelings of grief, that we detest most.
Don’t dismiss what you miss: it’s important to be honest about what’s real. It’s very real to miss someone we loved when they’re not around or gone. We should not dismiss what we feel. In not dismissing what we miss we allow our acknowledgment of truth to heal us for the moment of healing we need. It’s in recognising how we feel that we add to our learning about what’s real. When we’re being real, God’s communicating to us who we actually are. We’re blessed when we look up and listen.
Loss is permanent: what’s lost is gone and never really re-discoverable. Although we may recapture the essence of what was lost in some way later, the feeling of what is will never quite be the same; it won’t ever measure up to what was. But it doesn’t mean that future experiences can’t eclipse the past ones. And certainly hopes for reconnecting with loved ones in eternity — those hopes are real, and they may never be more cogent.
Hope for a new normal: there’s always hope in the midst of loss for what God’s doing in us. Loss is never truly the end; it’s a beginning of what’s now new. The new normal on God’s side of the ledger is always a hope resplendent in light for life.
Whatever we do in life, when it comes to loss, don’t dismiss what you miss.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.