All what we get to hear people talk today during lockdown, is about the great loss that people, families, communities, businesses, nations and the world have to face.
They are not wrong as this pandemic of COVID-19 has touched every life on this planet in some way or the other. You cannot live in denial and get angry for the losses you will have to suffer.
The loss of a dear one, an event that touched deeply and at the same time disturbed me for a long time for almost 10 years taught me some important lessons on ‘LOSS’. I realized that I have been enrolled into the graduate program of life called loss.
Eventually we lose everything we have, yet what ultimately matters can never be lost. Come to think of it, our houses, cars, jobs, and money, our youth and even our loved ones, are just on loan to us. Like everything else our loved ones are not ours to keep. Realizing this doesn’t have to sadden us. On the flip side it can give us greater appreciation for the many wonderful experiences and things we have during our time here.
In many ways life is a school, and loss forms a major part of the curriculum. As we experience loss we also experience those we love – and sometimes even strangers who care for us in times of need. Right from the time we suffer the loss of our mothers womb, to our childhood, to youth, toys, friends, teachers, relationships we experience loss in different forms. All the intangibles such as our dreams, youth, independence will fade or end. All our belongings are just on a loan to us. Were they ever really ours? Everything here is temporary. Trying to find permanence is impossible and we ultimately learn that there is no safety in keeping everything and no safety in trying to prevent loss.
The problem is we like to pretend that we will always have life and the things within it. It is amazing to see the pretenses many families of the terminally ill carry on at the end of life. They don’t want to talk about the losses they are going through, they certainly don’t want to mention that to their dying loved ones. The doctors don’t want to say anything to their patients either. How foolish of us to think that these people approaching the end of their lives are not aware of the situation. And equally foolish to think that this actually helps them. Probably the reason why you find the dying smile at the people around them as if they want to say “how foolish of you guys to be hiding from me that I am dying”
The dying know what they are losing and understand its value. It is the living who seem to be kidding themselves.
Most of us fight and resist loss throughout our lives, not understanding that life is loss and loss is life.
Here is a positive take on ‘LOSS’. If you feel that you’re suffering great loss, it’s only because you have been so richly blessed by life. “it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all”
Think of it like this – those who suffer losses ultimately become stronger, more whole. In every loss we gain.
- We may lose some hair in middle age and get wrinkled skin but realize that what’s on the inside is just as important
- When you retire you may lose some income but find more freedom
- In old age we lose a little of our independence but receive back some of the love we gave to others
- When we lose our possessions of life, we find after prolonged mourning that we are now freer and that we are meant to travel lightly
- When relationships end, we learn who we are – not in relation to others but just as ourselves.
Similarly during the lockdown period you may;
- lose going out to parties and to work but get a lot of time with family
- lose the adrenaline rush of the work related stress but will get much needed rest for your body to recover and rejuvenate
- lose dressing up and wearing designer clothes but learn that you and others look just as beautiful without them
- Not be able to have gourmet dishes but learn that you can survive with minimalism. And you bet they taste good 😊
- Find that the balance has actually tilted towards ‘LIFE’ in your quest for ‘Work-Life balance’
I realized that even within our deepest sense of loss, Life continues. That new beginnings are all around.
Remember – If you are fearing great ‘LOSS’ then you definitely have many ‘RICHES’
Relish your riches, immerse in them as you have been ‘enrolled in the graduate program called life!