Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Affirmation of Those Who Have Lost

~~~Dr. Jim Miller
I believe there is no denying it: it hurts to lose.
It hurts to lose a cherished relationship with another,
or a significant part of one's own self.

It can hurt to lose that which has united one with the past,
or that which has beckoned one into the future.
It is painful to feel diminished or abandoned,
to be left behind or left alone.

Yet I believe there is more to losing than just the hurt and the pain.
For there are other experiences that loss can call forth.

I believe that courage often appears, however quietly it is expressed,
however easily it goes unnoticed by others:
the courage to be strong enough to surrender,
the fortitude to be firm enough to be flexible.
the bravery to go where one has not gone before.

I believe a time of loss can be a time of learning unlike any other,
and that it can teach some of life's most valuable lessons:
In the act of losing, there is something to be found.
In the act of letting go, there is something to be grasped.
In the act of saying "good-bye," there is a "hello" to be heard.

For I believe that living with loss is about beginnings as well as endings.
And grieving is a matter of life more than of death.
And growing is a matter of mind and heart and soul more than of body.
And loving is a matter of eternity more than of time.

Finally, I believe in the promising paradoxes of loss:
In the midst of darkness, there can come a great Light.
At the bottom of despair, there can appear a great Hope.
And deep within loneliness, there can dwell a great Love.

I believe these things because others have shown the way--
others who have lost and then have grown through their losing,
others who have suffered and then found new meaning.

So I know I am not alone:
I am accompanied, day after night, night after day.

~~ Adapted from the writings of Jim Miller, author of What Will Help Me: 12 Things to Remember When You Have Suffered a Loss. and How Can I Help?

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