Last week I lost a friend who passed at the end of a year-long battle with cancer. The unfairness of his passing, the wife and daughters left. The friends left in limbo and confusion, touched me in the way that loss does, when I wonder why. Why do vibrant, generous, contributing people leave us so soon? I am sad for my loss, and that of his friends and family. All were touched and the celebration of his life last Sunday was both touching and tragic.
I have been thinking about loss lately and was inspired to read the book Making Loss Matter: Creating Meaning in Difficult Times by Rabbi David J. Wolpe. The loss he discusses is not merely the loss of a life, but the book takes a look at the menu of losses we encounter in our lives. My friend Laura said, maybe life is just a series of losses and when you get to a certain age, it does feel that way at times.
The loss of youth.
The loss of dreams.
The loss of parents.
The loss of jobs.
The loss of home.
And, at times, the loss of hope.
So what is it that keeps us going on, hoping, dreaming, working, creating relationships and establishing new homes? Where does that will to survive come from?
The wisdom of aging.
The spark of an idea.
The chance for celebration.
The opportunity to start fresh.
The glimmer of hope found in a new day, a young child’s smile, a lovers warm embrace, the comfort of the familiar found in the remnants of change.
In times of terrible, unspeakable loss, we somehow find the courage to stand up and take the first step towards an unknown, mysterious, yet intriguing future.
We guide the young in our lives and instill our values.
We feel the flame of excitement while we imagine and create.
We honor our parents and friends who have gone by cherishing their traditions and family values.
We work to create new and interesting jobs and meaningful work.
We look for a place to call home and celebrate community.