Loss

“You don’t know what you got until it’s gone and I found out just a little too late” ~ Chicago

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Loss (n): detriment, disadvantage or deprivation, the state of being deprived of or without something that one has had

 

Losing something or someone is horrible. Where it’s the panic, inconvenience, and annoyance of losing a purse or heart-wrenching death of a loved one, loss is something that effects all of us at some point.

A fair few losses are self-inflicted; the old adage of putting something in a safe place, then promptly forgetting where that safe place was. Or wandering about the house, wondering where your glasses are. Of course they’re on top of your head.

Most items we lose are replaceable. Cancelling all your cards is a pain but do-able. House keys can be replaced. The old photo or memento you might keep in your purse is much harder to replace. I lost some silver ear-rings on a night out recently. Annoying but replaceable. And it was an excellent night out. However, years ago, I thought I’d lost a necklace. It was given to me by my best friend and is one of my most precious possessions. I was mortified. This went on for months. The feeling of relief when I found it behind a chest of drawers is indescribable. Our reaction to loss of material things varies depending on their value, monetary and otherwise, and the level of emotion attached

But, of course, people are not things. I remember a tortured emotional conversation I had when a teenager over a break up. The breaking up and subsequent state was described as being liked the person had died but worse because you knew they were still there but you just couldn’t see them or talk to them.

I can’t equate the end of a relationship to that. And I suspect the friend of my tortured teenage years wouldn’t now either. Losing someone hurts. Someone you care for, love, want to be with, walking away from you, for whatever reason, can induce cause such anguish and heartbreak. You can howl like a dog with grief over it. Even if you are the one walking away, when someone is that special but you have to go, it’s a cut that takes a long time to heal. But death is so horribly, awfully, final. Even when it comes as a blessed relief after a period of suffering, there is still that a void left that only that person still being there could fill.

But people aren’t like purses or house keys. We don’t own them. As hard as it is, either walking away or being left behind, if we love or care for them then we just have to wish them. They’re not lost, they’re just elsewhere.

 

Princess

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Over

“It’s almost over now, it’s almost over now.” ~ N.E.R.D.

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Over (adj): finished, no longer in progress

 

Like many, I am mourning the end of London 2012 (encompassing the Olympics and the Paralympics). I believe it is fair to say that by being such a massive success it has exceeded many expectations. But even though there will be other Games, maybe in the future another London Games, there will never be another London 2012.

However, as a wise soul pointed out to me, all things come to end and that cannot be changed. In fact, for me, it would be wrong to ever change that. Life is an ongoing process of evolution; the world doesn’t stop turning, as much as we may sometimes want it to, and we have to turn with it.

I’ve written about Loss before. Things ending is a lot of what loss is about. Someone no longer being in your life, amazingly bodied athletes no longer performing equally amazing acts, even the end of a tv series; these all create a void. A void which, depending on personality and circumstances, people try to fill in different ways. Drink, chocolate, taking up extreme (or even perfectly normal) sports, pretty much anything goes. An old friend of mine split up with his girlfriend then spent every day, lunch or evening, in the gym for 3 months. Then, one day, he came to the pub, had a few beers, and relaxed back into his normal, training every other day, routine. As a process for dealing with what had happened, it was pretty clear what was going on. It was intense but it worked for him.

But the other temptation with things being over is to look back, to do the compulsive digging over the past or replaying events. Like picking again and again at a scab, those endless “do you remember when?” actions can leave more of a scar than the loss of the thing in the first place. The world is still turning; no matter how desperately you want it to go scrambling backwards, that will never happen. Sooner or later we all need to pick back up with our lives, sink those few beers in the pub as it were, and carry on. Living in the past didn’t really work out too well for Miss Havisham, after all.

I could have gone back onto the Olympic Park after my volunteering there had ended but I didn’t. I finished with the Velodrome. Sad though it was to have it come to an end, I walked off that Park feeling proud, with my head held high, and a bluebird perched on my right shoulder. It was over, for me. And I was walking away; smiling but walking away.

It’s all you can do when things are over, really.

 

Princess

Loss

“I can’t stand losing you” ~ The Police

Or, as defined by my dictionary

Loss (n): detriment, disadvantage or deprivation, the state of being deprived of or without something that one has had

 

Losing something or someone is horrible. Whether it’s the panic, inconvenience, and annoyance of losing a purse or heart-wrenching death of a loved one, loss is something that effects all of us at some point.

A fair few losses are self-inflicted; the old adage of putting something in a safe place, then promptly forgetting where that safe place was. Or wandering about the house, wondering where your glasses are. Of course they’re on top of your head!

Most items we lose are replaceable. Cancelling all your cards is a pain but do-able. House keys can be replaced. But the old photo or memento you might keep in your purse is much harder to replace. I lost some silver ear-rings on a night out recently. Annoying but replaceable. And it was an excellent night out. However, years ago, I thought I’d lost a necklace. It was given to me by my best friend and is one of my most precious possessions. I was mortified. This went out for months. The feeling of relief when I found it behind a chest of drawers is indescribable. Our reaction to loss of material things varies depending on their value, monetary and otherwise, and the level of emotion attached

Of course, people are not things. I remember a tortured emotional conversation I had when a teenager over a break up. The breaking up and subsequent state was described as being liked the person had died but worse because you knew they were still there but you just couldn’t see them or talk to them. I’m fortunate that my life has not been too touched by death of loved ones. Death is so horribly, awfully, final. Even when it comes as a blessed relief after a period of suffering, there is still that a void left that only that person still being there could fill.

I can no longer equate the end of a relationship to that. And I suspect the friend of my tortured teenage years wouldn’t either. Losing someone hurts. Someone you care for, love, want to be with, walking away from you, for whatever reason, can induce cause such anguish and heartbreak. You can howl like a dog with grief over it. Even if you are the one walking away, when someone is that special but you have to go, it’s a cut that takes a long time to heal.

But people aren’t like purses or house keys. We don’t own them. As hard as it is, either walking away or being left behind, if we love or care then we just have to wish the other person well. They’re not lost, they’ve just gone in a different direction.

 

Princess