After seeing another family shaken by death, I began to think about what it is that we learn from a loss. A devastating punch that brings us to our knees, where we flail out our arms and hands, moaning/screaming/crying out in abject despair and despondency. What is the cost of loss and how is it defined?
For some, it is is the loss of mobility, the loss or lack of love/intimacy, dwindling finances, pink slips, fat hips, loss of prestige/perceived status and an endless list of what we think is important until what we lose is of immeasurable value.
But, how do we know whether a loss is monumental or trivially insignificant? You would think the answer could be easily determined. But, what has meaning to one may mean little to another. For example, the loss of a job. If you are laid off or fired from a position that you disliked and at which you fought with your coworkers on a daily basis, to leave that unfulfilling place might be a moment of celebration. But, what if that job was the only source of funds from which you paid your rent, secured insurance for you and your family, purchased groceries and kept up your car notes? Add to the equation, how much you enjoyed what you did every day, looked forward to retiring there and then one day, you walked in, happy and carefree and you were told that you would have to be let go. Trivial or monumental loss?
Imagine standing over a coffin and as you look in, there is a family member that you loved like no other. A young life cut off too soon by disease or as a result of senseless violence. You are knifed thru and thru with grief. You can not begin to see a world in which they are no more. You can’t seem to catch your breath. You rage at the injustice of others that still live that should be covered in death, but have the audacity to continue to inhale and exhale. Once the grave is blessed with their lifeless body, you leave and return to your world of mindless activities and self-serving tendencies. Nothing is really changed for you. You run with the same aimless crowd, lament the lack of time in your busy schedule to make a difference and wipe away a tear from time to time in remembrance of your dearly departed. Trivial or monumental loss?
Boomer wisdom believes that loss of any kind should cause us to rethink how we waste the minutes of our lives. The end of a job is a reason to consider where one’s talents might be best utilized. The breakup of a marriage/relationship should result in meditation and counseling to determine what faults/lack is in you that had you attracted to what was not in your best interest or review your attributes to see if you were ready for such a commitment. The demise of those we love is an impetus to honor them by not living vicariously through others, but, joyously and fervently in the minute that is right before us, not those that we think are traveling from the future(which we know are not promised). To live like we always lived, to love like we used to love, instead of flat out, over the top with everything that is in us, is to trivialize the life that is no more. If a loss means anything to you, let the rest of your life define that loss by how you live. Fervently Purposeful. Directionally Thoughtful. Totally Altruistic. Emphatically Compassionate. Joyously Exhilarated. Passionately Enthusiastic. Sacrificially Loving. Add some adverbs to the adjectives that define your gargantuan loss and start now. Live like you’re living for more than just you! Because if your loss was truly monumental, you are……….
Ready, set, run!
Blessings to you all!