Things I Know Today: Loss

relay for life 038

Luminarias at a Relay For Life Walk, picture by Dianne K. Nelson

  1. Loss is deeply personal. No one can decide when you should be done grieving, nor do they get to decide how you get to grieve.
  2. Loss is a tricky thing. You’ll get to a point where you are fine, and all is well, and then BAM! something will hit you out of the blue and you’ll feel all of those feelings of loss all over again. To this day I have a hard time buying stamps because when I left for college my beloved grandfather gave me a book of stamps and asked me to write to him. I did–but not as often as I think he would have liked. And I used the stamps to pay bills. In my logical mind, I know my grandfather would not have been disappointed that I used his stamps for other necessary purposes besides writing letters home, but I still feel like using them that way was a kind of let down. When I buy stamps, I have a moment of missing him all over again.
  3. We lose many things over our lifetime. Socks. Lunchboxes. Pens. Jackets. Toys. Books. We lose track of friends. We lose jobs. We can lose big things like homes and partners and spouses. Loss is part of the ebb and flow of life.
  4. The sting of loss will lessen over time. Even when it punches you in the face again out of the blue, it either hurts less or the hurt fades faster or we get better at coping with loss.
  5. No one is immune to loss. No one.
  6. Not everything we lose stays lost. Thank goodness for that.
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