The following poem encourages us to think of a loss (cancer, brain injury, ataxia, autism, disabilities, life-threatening illness, etc.) as a benefit that helps us and everyone with whom we interact. Even though the poem recognizes the negative side of loss, it also reinforces the belief that the benefits of loss can outweigh the detriments.
“Hello, please allow me to introduce myself, my name is…Loss. I travel throughout the universe with a very specific job description. I have several friends that either travel with me or on their own. Their names are Pain, Suffering, Grief, Disappointment, Unfairness and Depression. I wanted all of you to understand the role that we play. We are all a part of what is known as…the cycle of life. We do not select our visited because they are more deserving of heart-ache than others. Our job is not to punish, it is just to carry out what is to be. You have not been singled out to be hurt or punished, even though I know you may have thought so. Instead it is a matter of placement, timing, chance and influence.
You see we start visiting you when you are first born. The first time you experience me is when you are taken from the womb of your mother. I am the one that visited you when you lost…your first front tooth. I was also there when you lost…your first race. I was the one that visited you each time you…had your heart broken. You see I have been a part of your life…since the minute you were born. Sometimes my damage was easier to recover from than other times. I noticed when it was difficult for you…but I could not intervene. I knew that I not only had a job to do, but you were in the middle of the molding process. You are the person that you are today because I visited you. Some of you have handled me easier than others, but all of you have grown as a result of my visits.
There are so many people out there who have been touched by your experiences. Your influence was far more reaching than just to yourself or your immediate family. There have been lives changed that you will never even know about, as a result of my visits to you. It was not just you that needed molding but others as well. I just wanted to take the time to thank-you for helping me to mold the universe.
~ Debbie Wilson, Loss, 5-6-96
How is the loss of identity, memory, energy, and enthusiasm different from a loss due to theft, fire, or flood? What could help you more easily embrace the benefits of loss? How can you help people understand the benefits of your loss or their loss? What are your solutions for coping with loss for which there appears to be no benefit?
Thanks to Debbie Wilson for sharing her poem.