I have known loss in my life. I got my introduction to profound loss at age 17, when my mother died of cancer a week before I graduated from high school. My mother and I did not speak from out hearts, as we always had, when, in retrospect, it mattered most. We were too busy worrying about the future, and avoiding our excruciating pain.
At age 34, loss came calling again, when my husband also succumbed to cancer…this time a week before I was to receive my master’s degree in social work. My husband and I did say the things that mattered before it was too late…but we could not undo the fact that our eyes had often been focused on the future…on all the things we would do “when we had the time and money”.
I have learned that loss can truly show us who we are, where we have been, and where we need to go. When we lose, we learn what is important. Loss, indeed, can also bring about gain. I wish I could say that I have always been able to truly live out the lessons I learned through grief… alas, life will forever present me thousands of choices in the moments that make up each and every day that I open my eyes…and I will sometimes falter in my resolve.
Fortunately, loss also taught me about the people with whom I want to surround myself, and I am blessed with family and friends who support me in my efforts to make those daily choices which come from the core of my beliefs.
Yes, I have known loss, as millions of others have…and, as millions of others have, I have been forever changed. Loss has crystallized my beliefs, and embedded in my heart one belief in particular, which shapes all others.
I believe in the possibility that can be seen in each end every moment…an ice etching silvered on a window pane, doomed to melt away, never to be seen again.
I believe that every change that ever mattered began with a moment’s riveted present-ness…when “IT” came into laser focus.
I believe in the struggle to truly live in each moment, because moments are where we really live…in glances, touches, and snippets of conversation.
It is our humanness that pulls us out of the moment…and our humanness that connects us in spite of ourselves.
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