We have all without doubt during our lifetime suffered a loss they are always painful and for many of us we feel that within that segment of time we will never recover. We experience it like our insides are being torn from us without pity tossed high into the storm that those emotions are creating. The sun can be shinning down on us the birds can be singing but as we look up at the sky whilst shading our eyes from the sun no answers or explanations are given. The excruciating knot within your stomach seems to be holding you to ransom and with every moment that passes becoming just that little bit tighter. Loss is so difficult for those left holding that emotion in their hands with nowhere to put it down or feel its release. There are so many ways that we experience a loss and I could only but try to examine a few here because I’m sure there are many that I haven’t experienced.
There comes a time in our lives where if the rule of thumb were to enact that we will feel the loss of our parents which is something however hard we try we can’t accept that they are really gone. If we were to turn this analogy on its head then we walk down a very dark and painful road because the loss of a child whilst we are still living has the ability to destroy us completely. If we were to take it down just a notch or two from the more extreme emotions invoked above we all feel loss in so many others ways. The loss of a wife or husband a breakdown of a relationship with the one person that we thought would be our forever life companion. There is the loss that beloved pet that also brings about a time of grief simply because they were a part of our family for some this is even more difficult if they find themselves alone when their only companion has been taken. The loss of that dream job that not in a million years had we seen that trunk coming as we sit there dazed in utter disbelief. A person we truly thought was our friend seemingly cutting us out of their lives without explanation as we sit there scratching our heads trying to unravel the mess and make sense of the situation.
Put it in a nutshell any loss we feel creates pain during that time that is so difficult to understand or deal with. Loss is always relative to us as individuals at that moment in time and felt differently by each of us there is no outright winning post around a loss. Each one sitting on high clutching a gold medal we will always feel the pain of its enactment.
But there is a loss that I would like to talk about here today felt so deeply in its magnitude that it is immense, it’s the loss of a segment of time that no matter how hard we try we can never ever recover. Those years that are lost to us forever within and surrounding abuse simply taken from us and even if our abuser were to try they could never give them back. For many this loss is something that they will never really come to terms with because we choose to ignore that passage of time it’s painful to even try to recover that which is lost to us. But in all truth if we ever in time arrive at that point in our lives where we feel we can try we see that in fact it’s a hurdle that we have already climbed over, We had just lacked the courage before today or stood close enough to see the other side. The truth is it’s just not possible to reclaim those years we mourn; it would be like finding a unicorn in our back garden or a pot of gold at the bottom of the rainbow. We would be chasing a dream that could never be realised; our abuse is part of what makes us who we are today. Once we can get our heads around that fact we can then start to live the life that we have left and move forward, not forever trying to reach back to a place of pain that we can choose to close the door on if we could only find the handle.
For all of us we have or had a mountain to climb and yes it’s so much harder to climb up then keeping looking at the downward slope below us, it’s the easier root by comparison and yes it takes less effort but for sure much less growth. If we continue on in the belief that we can’t accept our loss and that we are never able to make a stance then we will never know where that route may have taken us. When Dorothy started her journey along the yellow brick road she had no way of knowing its destination but she just kept walking, and as we are aware taking that first step on that winding yellow road allowed her to find all she needed to ultimately find her way home.
I would like to share with you a conversation I once had with a guest on a radio show that still stays with me daily; I may have even touched upon it many moons ago because it reached down in to my very core. It stays with me because of its complete sadness and the loss of so many years that could have been lived; this particular lady could not find a way to move forward no matter whatever she tried to do so, at the risk of repeating myself I could not think of a better illustration to be drawn upon. She had been abused as a child by her stepfather; for many years and her mother was also a victim of his abuse physically, she was in a helpless situation not able to defend herself or her mother. At the age of fourteen she ran away from home to live on the streets where she had to survive alone ducking and diving just getting by day by day as it arrived. She found herself within the world of drugs drinking and pulled into the world of prostitution and that’s how she lived her life for so many years. But she could never really forget or move past her abuse and the loss of her childhood years, it was eating her up day by day no matter how she tried she was not able to mourn the loss of those years. She felt their loss always within her grip held tightly within her so close to her that she was control when in truth however sad the situation she was in it was in fact the complete opposite.
At the age of twenty she could not longer live with the pain that she was carrying with her and so she made a life choice, she went and found herself a gun and returned home in an attempt to reclaim her life and the years she had lost. I don’t feel the need to elaborate on the outcome on her arrival but was that the right choice for her? Well she asked me that very question during a live radio show from where she was incarcerated and it caused me to take a step back in time to a place where I had often thought that would be my only way out of my own abuse. After a moment’s thought although for me it seemed like I had being sitting there with one finger in my ear without a reply seemingly coming to my aid, sputtering about trying to form the words to answer her heartfelt question. I then realised that it was not a question that I could be rushed into replying to this was her life now, and for the next fifteen years I needed to give it some serious thought. It then came to me in a flood of emotion that he had taken all those years from her during her childhood and here he was taking fifteen more albeit by her actions. She would never have recaptured or relived those years and the sadness of it was that there were more lost years in front of her. While my own thoughts were could I take another’s life whilst within rational thought? The answer was that she clearly wasn’t and I recognised that it could have so easily have been me. We must all have a breaking point that once reached we can’t find our way back from and I will openly admit to you here that I cried a few tears at the end of that particular show.
Yes any loss is immensely painful and for us none more so than the loss of the years at the hand of our abuser and the gigantic hole it has left within us. But the story I have shared with you above shows just how far we can be driven if we can’t find a way to come to terms with our loss of these childhood years. If we keep reaching back believing it’s possible to retrieve those years lost we will also lose those years out in front of us without the need of ever having seen the inside of a prison cell. Life by its very nature will continue to cause us pain through experiencing a loss but I personally see no need to drag it along by the hand indefinitely.
We will all mourn many a loss as we walk along the life path that is ours whilst sobering never needing the finality of death………