One year ago today my mother died, and my father died in 1995. Its not something we can grasp until it happens. It's not something we can plan for and its certainly not something we want. We all live and we all experience death at some point in our lives. Whether we are kids, young adults, or even older, ultimately someone we love dies. Its part of life, unfortunately that's the ugly truth.
When it happens people say how sorry they are for your loss. I wonder why the word loss is used. Is it because the words dead, death, died, killed or even passed are so hard to hear? Regardless of the word used it's still a loss but what is the loss?
I believe regardless of the loss, we all grieve. Of course differently than others but grief is grief no matter how you slice it. For me the loss of my parents is unfathomable. It means I can't talk to them, I can't see them, I can't hug them or tell them how much I love them.
But I also believe that I did not lose. Loss is interpreted as you lost something but what about what I gained? I had the best parents a kid could want. When I spoke to someone about being in Oregon with my family when my mother was dying here is what I said.
I am usually the loud one, the joker, the center of attention. While in Oregon I remember sitting in my parents rocker and watching my family. My siblings, my Uncles and Aunts, my friends, my many nieces and nephews and their spouses and their children, and I remember feeling so lucky.
When I was young I never allowed anyone to come to my house. I was ashamed. I felt like people would judge me based on our being poor. I had a low self esteem about my school clothes, my not so stylish hair, you name it I was ashamed. I thought no one would like me if they knew I was poor because I had nothing to offer them.
As I sat in that rocker feeling lucky, I realized for the first time in my life, that my parents gave me more than any parents could have hoped for. They gave me such a huge family and believe it or not we almost always get along. Although the house was filled with grief for our upcoming loss there was an overwhelming amount of love.
Now with both my parents in another place, and people say I'm sorry for your loss, I have to smile and think quietly how there is no loss in my life, no regret, and surely no shame. For what is life really without loss for all the things you gain?