If You’ve Ever Lost Someone

Loss doesn’t happen the same way each time.

If you’ve ever lost someone, by your own actions — like because you were mean, or pushed them away, or did something stupid — apologize. Whenever possible, make amends. Forgive yourself.

If you’ve ever lost someone, by their actions — like because they were mean, or pushed you away, or did something stupid — forgive them (even if they didn’t ask for it). As Brault put it, “Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.” And if in any way, you feel it was your fault because you “let it happen” or “had it coming” or “should’ve known better,” darling just stop. Stop beating yourself up. Be forgiving of yourself.

If you’ve ever lost someone, because of death — allow yourself to grieve. Expect to go through the motions and the phases of trying to recover from a loss: You’ll deny it’s happened. You’ll be angry at God or life or yourself or another person or even the person who passed. You’ll try to bargain with God or life or fate, say Please God or life or fate, just one more moment, I wasn’t done loving this person. You’ll feel sad, so so sad.

Allow yourself to think and feel all these. Create a space for the pain. It will pass. No matter how much you believe it wouldn’t, it will. But only if you give yourself fully to the process of grieving. You’ll get to acceptance, but you can’t force yourself to be there already when you’re not. Loss and grief will take you to dark places, but you’ve got to have the courage to go through them, in order to get to the light again.

And you’re right, by the way — you’re not done loving the person who passed. You can and will continue loving them, because love transcends time and space and yes, even death.

If you’ve ever lost someone because — well, because life — still, allow yourself to grieve. Remind yourself to forgive. Recognize that these things happen, and it’s not necessarily because it was his fault or her fault or your fault or God’s fault or life’s fault. Life just is, and it’s not wrong or right or good or bad to you. It just is. It doesn’t apologize for the things it takes away, in the same way it doesn’t require your gratitude for the things it gives.

Life simply moves the way it does, and you get to choose whether to resist it, or move with it.

Life will continue moving even without your consent, though.

That’s because life is larger than you.

It was here before you.

It will continue to be here after you.

And —  life is, at present, with you.

Even as you’ve lost someone. Life remains with you.

Don’t forget that. Life is still with you.

I hope you stay with it, too. ◊

About the Author •

59 thoughts on “If You’ve Ever Lost Someone

  1. “You’ll get to acceptance, but you can’t force yourself to be there already when you’re not. Loss and grief will take you to dark places, but you’ve got to have the courage to go through them, in order to get to the light again.”

    Thank you. Tonight, I’m having a really hard time. I keep beating myself up for not being over something. I’m trying really hard to move on and I pray about it but I need to accept that it won’t happen just because I want it to. I have a hard time allowing myself to feel these things, including crying. I’ve never been that type of person. I have always been very open about my emotions, but because I feel like I should be over this, I sit here and try to fight my tears and then they just come out against my will.

    Thank you for reminding me to allow myself to feel, because that is what will ultimately allow me to heal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I get that–our instinct is to force ourselves to be “over it” already, because we believe that’s what being a strong person means. So we fight even against ourselves, against our own tears…

      But it’s a beautiful thing when we arrive at the realization that we have to work *with* ourselves, not against it, in order to truly get to heal. That’s what strength means to me now. Not in never breaking, but in being able to remain gentle with ourselves as we live through the brokenness.

      Sending you love 💗

      Liked by 2 people

    • True. I find forgiveness difficult, too. Often, it takes such a large heart and profound wisdom to be able to do so fully, and many of us (myself included) have a long way to go before reaching that state.

      Like

  2. Great article.
    Bouncing off your statement of life being larger than us. I totally agree with you at the moment life’s weight is about to crush me, it is become more and more difficult to step back and reflect, rationalise, grief. I am concerned about another breakdown. Thank you for your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a person who has lost in all of these ways. I know the truth in your words. I hear/see a lot of people saying forgiveness is not possible without… or if they are not worth it/remorseful. But then I look at those who have lost a loved one to a horrendous crime and they forgive the killer, that would be extremely difficult, I wouldn’t know how I would cope in that situation. My experiences with forgiveness have been relieving on my own soul. Whether it was by being hurt by another person or a loved one, or even the hurt caused by a friend who took their own life before asking me for help again. Without working it within myself I don’t think I could stand as tall as I do now though I still have a way to go.

    Love this post ❤ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing that. I also can’t imagine the magnitude of strength required of those who attempt to forgive even after having withstood really horrific offenses. I myself struggle with being open and strong enough to forgive, because really, it’s easier to just clam up and deny it for all eternity. But you’re right about forgiveness being relieving to the soul. Without it, so many things continue to burden us and eat away at our vitality. I guess we both have a long way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the simple philosophy at the end of this post: “… life is larger than you, It was here before you … life is, at present, with you…” : Humility and Acceptance of life with its pains and joys 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, humility and acceptance…I believe those are truly hard-earned gems. After all our striving to control and “rise above” life, we eventually learn the key is in learning how to adapt instead of control, and “work with” life rather than seek to overpower it. Thanks so much for the visit and for your thoughtful reply! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is very well written. The compassion that comes through is wonderful.
    I have a question for you… what if the one you’ve lost is yourself? It’s easy to lose yourself to a relationship, an illness, and a long list of other things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Lynnette! Hmm, that is a difficult question, but one that’s very relevant to a lot of people. I think I’ve lost myself at least once before, and it was a very dark time indeed.

      The answer to regaining oneself again may be different for each person, but in my experience, it took a lot of “scraping close to the bone.” Instead of continuing to deny things, I had to have the courage to face the cold hard truths about myself and what was happening around me, even if it was very painful to do so. I think that was the only way I could’ve found myself again — by first admitting I was lost, having the courage to see how/why that came to be, and being willing to start from scratch as I attempted to recover, discover, and define who I really was.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Loss and grief will take you to dark places, but you’ve got to have the courage to go through them, in order to get to the light again.” This line… yes… yes… yes… great post! Such wisdom in your words.
    Some losses are definitely harder than others. And just when we think we’ve grieved and come to acceptance with a specific loss, another comes and brings the past back up for deeper work… and so the cycle continues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Bonnie! Means a lot coming from you.

      That’s exactly what I think grief is, it’s nonlinear. There’s a cycle involved, and even after acceptance, there may be instances or triggers that come up and lead us back to denial or anger or other phases… And in comes the need for the deeper work that you mentioned. It’s never easy going to those dark places again, but it’s more dangerous pretending there’s only light and continuing to deny the darkness we need to work through to truly heal.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for the compliment as well! I feel like it’s more living life itself that has taught me about grief. And yes, exactly as you describe, non-linear, a cycle that brings things back around. I think of it as a spiral going upwards to the light if we do the work, but can be a downward spiral to darkness if we don’t. Sometimes we just spin in place… you’ve touched on so much that is true in my life right now! I love your writing!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this one Yes, take your time but make sure you don’t dwell in the emotion and actually get stuck there wanting things to be different and feeling like they should. Big hug ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Elise! ❤ I agree. I believe emotions flow and run their course towards acceptance eventually, if we allow them to be. We can get stuck sometimes if we insist on feeling only one thing or we resist feeling emotions altogether.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think you touch on something so important here when you say that grieving and then moving on after someone passes away does not mean you are going to stop loving them. It means you are carrying on with your life and that is what the person who passed would want. Great words you share in this post.

    Liked by 1 person

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