A read a status on Facebook the other day that has stuck with me. It was written by a mother who lost her son six months ago. She wrote: “They say I’ll be okay….But I’m not ever going to get over you…”
I felt compelled to send her a message, which I did. Here is part of what I wrote to her: “I’m not sure if you know this or not but almost 2 years ago my family lost everything. We owned rental properties. We lost them, but we lost our personal house as well. The house we had lived in for 13 years. The house my kids grew up in. The house they learned to drive in, go to proms in, had parties in, fall in love in, so many milestones in that house. I didn’t want to leave. I still miss it every day. The people who were suppose to help us suddenly pulled out and we had to move within a week’s time. We had no where to go, so we gave a lot of stuff away, or just left it there for friends to come and get. In a matter of days our lives changed. We put most of our stuff that we were keeping in storage, and moved into a 3 bedroom apartment for a year.
I am in no way comparing that to the loss of a child, to losing your son. But I wanted to share what I wrote in my journal the other day and here it is: ‘I came to a conclusion this week. I will never get over losing my house. It was a huge part of my life time-wise, and the years spent there…it was a loss much like that of a loved one, having experienced the shocking and sudden death of Stevie, my 18 year old brother.
So instead of trying to get over it, I am concentrating on accepting it, and looking toward the future, tentatively, one day at a time. I find it hopeful that most days I don’t desire death more than life, and there was a time I did. I know this may sound very shallow, especially to someone who has gone through a greater loss than I, but loss is loss, and I try not to compare, good or bad, better or worse. People were constantly telling me that it was just stuff. We still had each other. And I got that, I truly did, but the people who were saying that to me had never lost it all…
I read something the other day that resonated with me at this point in my life. It is this: Maybe I should figure out a way to be happy, not for a lifetime, but for an hour or two.
I’m not sure that’s how life works anyway, getting over losses. I talk with so many people who deal with loss…some way worse than my own, who are just trying to survive another day. In my case, almost two years after the fact, I want to stop waiting to get over it. Because I’m not going to. And I’m okay with that now.’
This past week was a week full of losses. Not my own, but the loss of lives always touches me. Of course there was the death of Andy Griffith, and today I learned of the passing of Ernest Borgnine. Our church, and therefore people that I know, lost one of our worship leaders, a husband, a father, a friend. So very sad. I learned of another death just yesterday of a woman who I went to church with when she was a young girl. And that too, leaves me feeling so very sorry for those left behind.
Loss surrounds us every day. Loss is hard to come to terms with, and some never do. We may accept it and move on, but one thing I know for sure, we never get over it, and that, I believe, is just the way it is.