The Evolution Of Loss

I just finished a book that I have somewhat mixed feelings about, I don’t want to name the book because what I’m going to discuss would kinda spoil it.  The thing that I enjoyed about the story is that towards the end the main character lost someone he/she loved and the novel followed him/her for a couple of years after that loss, and showed how he/she coped with it.

Now unfortunately I have lost a few individuals in my life that I love deeply and was very close to.  Even if you haven’t ever lost someone close to you I am sure you have watched a movie that shows the immediate aftermath when someone dies.  Everyone sad, hugs given out, support shown, crying ensues, etc, etc.  Now the thing that is not always touched on is what it is like the months and years following that loss.  In my case there was an accident where I lost two family members and the initial struggle was simply trying to wrap my brain around what had happened, then the chaos of setting up the funeral.  Skip to 5 years later and I have learned how to live my life while at the same time appreciating what those individuals meant to me.  In movies you usually see the 1st part and then it skips ahead to the last part, but I think the most difficult part was the stuff in between.

Someone told me shortly after that you have to find a “New Normal” and that seems spot on.  In the years in between when I was happy it never reached the same heights of my pre-loss happiness.  At times it really did seem like I was merely going through the motions.  There was almost a numbness to life shortly after that.  I never searched for meaning in life before the loss, but that was all I could do after.  The same memories that used to give me such joy seemed to do nothing but cause me pain & heart ache.  Yet as time passed joy returned to those memories, pictures no longer caused me to turn away, and certain songs no longer caused me to jump across the room to turn off the radio.  I wish it could have been like a movie where within an hour I had dealt with my demons and become a better person, but as anyone who has lost someone knows it is not that short.

Even now I find it near impossible to describe in words which is why I feel the author did such a great job presenting the emotions through the main character.  I felt the characters struggle and more importantly he/she didn’t live happily-ever-after and have the story fade to black with a little Disney logo hovering above it.  You never truly get over the pain of losing someone, it is a everyday battle.  As time goes past the battles are not as often and are not as brutal, but it is not something that ever goes away.
Again I do not want to spoil the book so I will just give you the name of the author, David Nicholls.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. – Kahlil Gibran



Filed under Loss, Writing

8 responses to “The Evolution Of Loss

  1. I would try and say something insightful but you pretty well covered any and all feelings I have on the subject. It is true that often stories do not show the years later when everyday a character has to get up and be reminded that today is a little less. It is accurately described as an evolution too, you go through the stages of grief.

    From my own experience I watched somebody break down mentally. Day by day I watched the person slowly lose themselves and become something else. Even now that person is a shadow of their former selves. I don’t think the two are comparable but both do suck in their own rights.

    It is a good thing you have a blog to talk about these things ;).

    • I think they are pretty much the same thing. Whether it be instant or over a long period of time you basically lose the person you cared for. And I agree the both very much suck. 🙂

  2. Anabelle

    I’ve struggled with real loss only once in my life, 10 years ago, and I still feel like it affects me every day.

    Of course no one’s life is a movie… we learn to make peace with the fact that someone we love is gone. It comes without us noticing.

    Wonderful post, and I am looking forward to reading you in the future.

  3. Wow… You spoke so openly and wonderfully on the deep emotions we go through when someone we love moves on from the place. I lost my best friend in 2003 and still today have struggles and yes, emotional barriers that at times keep me from loving as deeply as I might be able too.

    I do know I have gained a wisdom that I did not have before. I know I treasure those moments that if you’re not paying attention would be gone in a blink of an eye. You know, like seeing that little smile on your daughters lips as you glide back and forth on the front porch swing watching fireflies. She is still for but a moment or two and then she is up and gone chasing the fireflies. And if you had not been watching you would have missed that look, that smile, that tiny moment of true love…

  4. Thank you, Frank, for sharing. I too lost a best friend two years ago, and I feel it every day. I agree, no one prepares you for the first time you want to send a text to share a laugh. We all do need to remember to slow down for a moment and give thanks for the people in our lives.

  5. Thank you for sharing. It’s never easy to loose someone and it takes time to overcome the grief. I lost my grandma a few years back and I never had a chance to say goodbye and that still haunts me to this day. the wounds will slowly heal one a day at a time and in the end you become a better and stronger person. great, moving post.

  6. Spot on. The months, years after the initial loss, when others have all gone back to their ‘normal’ lives and your life has still ground to a holt, are so searingly painful. I remember a good friend of mine saying after her husband died that it was so hard to even go to the shop and be served by a sales assistant – didn’t she know the whole world had stopped??? And then, of course, you realise, it’s not the whole world that has stopped, it’s just yours. The isolation of grief is a terrible thing.
    You have expressed yourself so eloquently in this post.

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