An old friend came back into my life around ten years ago, it had been several years since we had seen each other, but it was a joy to reconnect with him. He was a mentor and a hero, a world renowned journalist, who wrote the truth in simple every day language that anyone could understand. He was tall and ruggedly handsome, the years had been kind to him( and yes, he was an older man) his face had that worn leather look, but his eyes still twinkled and he was as curious as ever about my life. As we sat and talked, he looked at me, and mentioned that life must have been really kind, it was apparent that I had not suffered loss.
I laughed, and asked him what he meant. He said," you know, loss.....loved ones, health, important things". I told him, that for once, his journalist instinct had failed him......that I had known loss, great loss and we talked about all that had happened in the years since we had seen each other.
Now this was a man who had faced loss in epic proportions......he had covered war, politics, disasters of all kinds, but though his heart had been broken time and time again by the horrors he witnessed.......there was still gentleness in his heart and spirit......he still saw the good.
I woke up this morning at 3:00am thinking of loss, and my old friend who passed away a few years ago.
I think if he saw me now, he would recognize the shadows of loss on my face. Loss changes so much of your life.....it may not change the outward appearance, but I can tell you from first hand experience it changes the inside. Loss comes in many forms, it may be a shock, or it may be a gradual painfully slow process, I have had both in my life. Illness, the loss of good health, a body that can't and won't do what it once did......death of someone you love, sudden or slow.......the loss of a job or lifestyle you worked your whole life for......a divorce. Loss means many things to each of us.
Loss changed me in many ways...... with the first big one.......there was unstoppable grief, and then anger and resentment.......my heart felt as though holes had been shot through it and that no matter how much love had been there, it could never fill again. As the years went by, the losses continued (that's life) each one took a piece of me, rearranged me, tested me. I realized something as I lay in bed this morning, there has been an upside to all this loss, as the years have gone by, my fears have mostly faded........most times now, when the worst happens, I am reminded of my loss........I made it through them, am still standing......worn, tattered,
but still standing.
Loss kills some, destroys their will to go on, decimates their spirits. I think that having friends and loved ones who cared about me, was my salvation.......so as I write this to you all tonight, if you have suffered loss or know someone who has........reach out......to those around you, who love you......allow them to see your suffering and let them help you.......they really want to. There is strength in the love and kindness of others,
there is healing in hugs and tears, and there is hope, one breath at a time.