by Richard M. Ankers
There is no other sensation to rival loss. We were born to lose. This is how God made us. Once we acknowledge this most certain of all certainties, learn to accept and cherish it, then loss no longer holds thrall and life becomes a little less relentless.
We cry on our arrival because we know it’s almost the end. People say we should be happy, but how can we be? Extracted from our mothers’ warm embraces, where we float like dreams about to come true, even the cord that would save us is severed. This is how it begins.
There are moments in childhood when we laugh in the wind and flick raindrops from our jackets when all is forgotten, lost to the storm. There are bright flowers and lightning strikes, purring kittens and rambunctious pups. Christmases and Easters flourish with their fancy colours and glorious gifts, but they are fleeting and only enhance the sensation of being gone. They pass as blown kisses. They were never really there.
The day we don our best dark clothes and say goodbye to a loved one, see our mothers crying, this is the reality. We puzzle at first what it’s all about, but we soon realise. There is a malaise, a greying of the threads that hold us together. A grandparent is gone. A beloved other is no longer offering sweets. Some piece of the puzzle it has taken years to develop has been removed. We start again.
We start again for the rest of our lives because it never truly falls back into place. Life has a warped sense of humour in such things, giving so we might lose. Life tests what development has sought to vanquish: the truth. We will all die. We will all depart. There is nothing we can do about it but cherish everything we have, have had and will have in the future, until the moment when there is no more future.
Life is relentless. But if everything came easy, and we didn’t have to work towards our goals, if we didn’t realise our time finite and all too short, would we try at all?
Loss is the most transformative of releases. Appreciating the leaving before it is lost! Ah, now that’s the trick.