You can lose the lottery, your keys, your wallet, weight, your virginity. You can lose your dreams, your hopes, your mind or your heart. You can lose a pet, a relationship, witness a loved one withdraw into dementia, or have a spouse move on before you. Loss does not have to fall into a specific category – it is more than just death, yet still less than the pain of regret of never having gained before; it is the inner turmoil of emotion, the grey area between grief and remorse.
But when loss happens;
First it hits you.
It might happen unconsciously, as a caress, gentle as a baby’s breath tickling your neck; it might strike like a bolt of lightning – fast, furious and precise.
But either way, you never know that it has happened until it does.
Then it consumes you.
All of a sudden, you’re wrapped up in it and it’s all that you can think about. It is the hole in your chest that leaves you breathless. You gasp and wheeze as you desperately try to inhale fragments of the past, but you realize that the harder you try, the bigger the hole grows and the shards of memories that you struggle to preserve cuts you even deeper.
You scramble to comprehend your situation – its all happening at a break-neck speed, and after all, how could something so unsolicited hold so much power over you? How could it be so excruciatingly beautiful yet heart-breaking at the same time? – But you are rendered helpless, swept away by the roaring waves that claim to be emotions, and into the infinite abyss that is loss itself.
You are then lost in loss.
Lastly it changes you.
Loss changes all of us – we are all shaped by that dark, bottomless pit within ourselves.
For better or for worse, you come out of it as a different person. You are no longer the same person you were a week, a month, or a year ago. Within this period of time, you’ve learnt. You’ve learnt to never take things for granted, you’ve learnt to appreciate a little more and grumble a little less, and you’ve learnt that ultimately it’s the little things that matter. You’ve also learnt to crawl, to run, to fight, to fly, or to fall without hurting yourself – whatever it takes to keep yourself from going under.
You might not notice it, but you’ve come out of this stronger and more resilient.
But after all that heartbreak, the ironic thing is that, loss happens just as love does.