Loss is an inevitable part of life. Unfortunately, it’s usually a sad part.
The other night I had dreams of loss. When I write them down, they sound rather silly: in the dreams I lost a backpack, some shoes, and my airplane ticket. I also couldn’t remember which airport I needed to go to and missed the flight. I cried a lot. I was scared and felt untethered.
I’m sure that there is deep significance behind the dream, and when I woke up I was very sad and felt like I was missing something important.
We usually first learn about loss when we are kids. Our pet goldfish, dog, or cat dies. Perhaps a close friend moves away or school yard politics separates us from our social group. As we get older, loss takes a different tone. A close grandparent dies, we experience love and subsequent heartbreak.
Eventually, a parent dies. Then as we get older, friends start to go.
I’ve heard from older people that it’s not that you get used to it, that at some point you accept that loss is inexorably entwined with the act of living.
The trick is to learn how to acknowledge it and keep moving forward.
That said, I’m not good at letting go when I don’t want to let go.