Life, it could be argued, is loss made manifest. From the moment a child is born, there are moments of loss – loss of who they were as a baby, a toddler, a young teenager. It continues into older age, with loss of interest in what fascinated us when younger, loss of energy for some, loss of physical capacity for others.
Not to mention the myriad other losses of material things as we change and grow.
So it makes sense to come to terms with loss. Because when you find it difficult to accept a loss, it means you are attached to whatever has been lost, and when that happens, you are unable to fully live in the moment, let alone have a future.
Death is the biggie, of course. When someone or something dies, there will always be loss. How could there not be? It’s easy to see the presence of loss when a person dies, but perhaps not so easy to see when it is the death of something else.
Less apparently severe things like a project that didn’t work out, a dream that became impossible, a change in circumstance that involved giving up on a desire – these are examples of loss that are not always easily integrated into our lives by any means.
Here’s a list of different kinds of losses or deaths; see which ones have impacted your life:
- Death of a loved one (person or pet)
- Loved one has illness/diagnosis
- Kids leaving home (empty nest)
- Forced to move house
- Losing a business partner
- Career change causing confusion
- Divorce and/or separation
- Ending of a relationship in whatever manner
- Failure of any kind
- Loss of fertility
- Loss of innocence
- Loss of a country
- Loss of family members
- Developing a disability or ill health
- Loss of an older person to dementia or Alzheimer’s
- Loss of belongings (as in a disaster of some kind)
- Loss of vitality (as in getting older)
- Loss of potential
- Loss of mobility (as in having to give up driving licence)
Think about this as widely as possible; when I started to do this, I was amazed at the amount of losses in my life that had actually shaped how I have lived.
I invite you to create a timeline of your life and chart the losses on it, to see how that looks. Then consider how well you have coped with these endings. This simple step will help you begin to integrate them all into your life today.
If you’re concerned at all about how you manage endings, deaths, losses – whatever you want to call them – reach out and join my Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/beforeIgo/ where there’s an opportunity to talk with others about all kinds of ends of life. For instance, when your pets die – we recently had a fascinating thread about that.
And do post below about some of the endings you have experienced and how you coped with them.