“... losses rarely announce themselves, they sneak up to prematurely and permanently snatch away a piece of life!”
― Jill Birt
WHAT CAN be said about loss that makes any sense or makes any difference: nothing or lots? Both are true, but both are also tenuously attached. We tread into the area of loss warily, knowing that we tempt fate (so to speak) by simply venturing toward a place we have no idea about – until we have experienced something of its identity purging and regurgitating nature.
The quote by Jill Birt, it is respectful to say, was as a commentary on Ambiguous Grief. If life-ending grief of one kind is exacerbated at all it’s confounded by ambiguous loss.
Losing someone or something (a marriage, for instance) is so devastating that the only chance we have at life from then on is through the re-evaluation and reconstruction of a suddenly decomposed identity.
In Christian circles, we major on having an identity rooted and established in Christ. But it is flippant at best and blasphemy at worst when we say to someone whose identity has been smashed on the rocks of life’s circumstances, “Cheer up, set your mind and heart on Jesus.” Such words are not godly words – there is no compassion, warmth or empathy there!
Cutting to the Chase – The Very Worst Circumstance of Life
We always want to look past the negative things of life to stride into the joyous virtue of the positive. It’s our human nature.
But, when the very worst conceivable thing has happened, our soulmate has died, left us, or gone missing in some irrevocable way, the positive things are no longer relevant. They are also an indictment on the swarming realities of cruelty we must now endure.
When the very worst outcome of life has come to bear – like nothing compares to this sense of loss – life becomes a veritable hell. We see things we’ve never seen before. We hate this new seeing. We want life back the way it was. The missing is unbearable, because the missing is acknowledgement that things can never return to the way they were. The only choice is to adjust.
There’s nothing worse than having to adjust when we detest the thought. We may even find such a thought of adjusting so foreign to our reason and abilities we face attacks of anxiety never before experienced.
There’s nothing worse than having to adjust when we detest the thought. The person who’s gone we want back. We want things back as they were. Such desperation is confounding, because we know our hope is impossible to realize. Our only hope is the reshaping of identity, and that, early on, is a despicable thought.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.