A Loss

Everyone experiences the loss of someone they love. It’s inevitable. Funny thing though, it sometimes seems easier than it should to move past it and go on with your life. Maybe that’s the way our minds allow us to cope with our grief for if not, every loss would compound until the sorrow became overwhelming.

My extended family suffered a loss recently and what made this even more tragic was that no one really had the chance to say goodbye. When my dad died we had forewarning. We had time to say what we wanted and to tell him we loved him. This week’s death didn’t offer that opportunity. The one family member who made it to the hospital wasn’t allowed to see the loved one before she was gone. Other’s who rushed to the hospital arrived too late. I was lucky with my dad because I could say goodbye.

This morning I woke up and thought about what those family members must be thinking and feeling. Many of us, me included, go about our daily lives not thinking that in the next moment someone we love could be gone with no warning. This family woke up the next morning thinking of how lonely life would be without their loved one and how their lives will change now that she is gone. Those sobering thoughts have to be pushed aside because they now have a list as along as my arm of things that must be done…funeral home, church, calling people, ordering flowers, notices to the local paper, travel arrangements, ordering food, legal documents, and more. These are all things they will try to complete in between moments of grief and tears.

Here’s something to remember though. Those things are important, but nothing is an important as taking the time to grieve and remember the soul that is gone. Those left behind have suffered life’s greatest loss and there is no going back. The “if only” thoughts come too late and not only are they grieving, but they may also feel guilt for those “if only’s”. It’s a merry go round of emotions and regrets interspersed with true grief and in order to get past it, we have to allow ourselves to go through it, no matter how difficult that may be.

It’s hard to be in the grieving process as life moves unabated around you. When my dad passed, I remember how often I would look at people around me who were laughing and smiling and going about their daily lives without a care in the world. I also remember how much I wanted to scream at them for being happy. My life had forever changed while theirs went on. They did nothing wrong and yet I resented the heck out of them for it.

This loss reminded me that what happened to that family yesterday could easily have been me.  As I said at the beginning of this blog, it’s inevitable.  My mom, my brothers, my sister.  Any of us could go at any time and yet I know that when the funeral is over and life is back to some semblance of normal, I will once again forget to say “I love you” and pull those I love in for a hug. 

But get through it all we must. Whatever higher power you believe in makes us strong because life is tough and full of sadness. We are made strong because even when someone we love leaves us, there are so many more still here with us that need us. But we should never forget that the pain we feel when we love someone is there because we have also been created with the ability to love and that is what gets us through each loss.

Losing someone we love is never easy. If you know someone going through the process, remember that the sorrow lasts much longer than the end of the funeral. Be there for them without them asking, and….most importantly…remember to tell the people closest to you that they are loved.

Be well my friends.


Published by walkbal1372

Barbara A. Luker is the author of "Remembering You" (publication 2020) - a story of love, loss and finding the way back. She is a life-long resident of Saint Peter, Minnesota where she hones her writing craft working for the City of Saint Peter. Luker is a Certified Municipal Clerk, a devoted fan of the Minnesota Wild, and a supporter of numerous animal rescue organizations.

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