IN MOMENTS OF PAIN – PART THREE
When Something is Lost
“You have taken away my companions and loved ones.
Darkness is my closest friend.” Psalm 88:18
Losing something dear
All of us have something or someone that hold a special place in our hearts. They give us satisfaction and pleasure, and make us feel complete. These can be our parents, siblings, a life partner, a close friend, material possession, a job, or even a pet. We love them so much, that losing them is like losing a chunk of our own flesh.
Much as we will want to hold on to these precious things in our lives, there will be times when they will be snatched away from us. While some cannot be avoided, there are losses which could have been avoided, and thus adds on to the pain that we are already facing.
Coping With A Loss
It is never easy to lose something precious. The pain of losing something or someone can be so intense that we may feel as if there is no reason to live on. Our lives are so much acquainted with it that losing it seems like losing the meaning of life. This can be even more painful if the loss is a result of violence, injustice, or recklessness. In short, it need not have happened.
Our initial reaction in the face of a loss is to retreat into our own world. We disconnect ourselves from our normal routine in life, from friends, and from activities that we used to love. Most losses cause depression to a certain degree, and for a certain period of time, depending on the person and its severity.
While it may be necessary to give ourselves some time and place to heal and deal with our loss, it is never a good idea to live in isolation for too long. A prolonged time of isolation and withdrawal can cause us to do foolish things, because this is what happens when we allow our minds to go idle. We will need to slowly re-connect ourselves with the world and people again.
Putting The Loss Behind
While it is always very tempting to hold on to what we have lost, we must realize that we will probably never get it back again. Therefore, no matter how much we grieve over the loss, it is already gone. Though it is healthy to grieve when we are supposed to instead of suppressing the pain, it is not in any way healthy to continue grieving over time.
We must remember that we may have lost something precious, but God has got a better future ahead of us. Even though things will never be the same again, God still has the best for us. Job lost everything – his home, livestock, children and health, but because he persevered God restored all that was lost and not only that, He gave Job twice as much! Though things will never be the same again; Job will never have the children that he had lost before, he has learnt to put the loss behind him.
One of the most common and destructive loss is the lost of trust, or in layman terms – betrayal. Betrayal is when you have trusted someone with something so much just to have him misusing that trust.
Betrayal destroys friendships and relationships in a very drastic way. In mutual friendships, betrayal can happen with the leaking of secrets. In relationships, it can be giving your love to someone else other than the one you already have. At home, betrayal can happen by abusing one’s role in the family through abuse. In short, betrayal is an abuse of trust.
Victims of betrayal will find it very difficult to trust again. And it is no wonder, especially when he is betrayed by someone he loved a lot, or someone whom he had looked up to and respected. In cases like this, the betrayed may find it very hard to trust other people again. And to rebuild this trust, it will require a lot of time and effort.
It is Not Your Fault
People who have suffered a loss can sometimes internalize their pain by believing that it is their fault. They come up with a lot of ‘if onlys’. ‘If only I had taken care of him better, he would not have died’. ‘If only I had not told her this secret, she would not have let it out’. ‘If only I had done this or that, I would not have lost my job’. ‘If only……...’
However, most losses are beyond our control. We can do nothing to prevent the loss. Putting on the blame on ourselves only adds on to the pain that we are already experiencing.
It is always important to know how to carry on with life even after a loss. Yes, your life may never be the same again; yes, many things would have to be left undone; yes, there are a lot of things that you do not have the chance to say…but can it be undone? Can you recover the loss?
The pain of losing something can take a long time to heal, but healing is not impossible. The memories that you have for that person will still be fresh, but you will need to be determined that life goes on.