It's actually become comical when I think about some things that have
happened in life the last few years. It may not seem to be if I were to list off
‘what all we've lost.' When I focus on the things lost, it actually isn't
very funny, but losing everything, and I do mean THINGS, has helped me and our
entire family gain a new perspective on life.
Does this new perspective make me any 'better' than someone who has not gone
through such material and stability loss? No. It does however offer a slightly
different view than someone who has not experienced this type of loss.
Losing a loved one is earth shattering enough, but if 'life' remained normal
around someone once the loved one moved on, then there is still a sense of semi-normalcy
or at least the surroundings and trappings and routines stay the same. The
whole or gap left by the loved one's departure does affect all of life, but the
framework is still intact. I won't discount the difficulty of this loss. I have
been there and experienced losing a parent suddenly.
But the loss of income, in mid-life, tends to have a rippling effect like no
other that not only effects daily life, but affects the lives of your loved
ones and your stability of what life used to be. Loss of income affects payments
on mortgages, cars, college plans for your children and many more 'things' in
life. With all of those gone and losing everything, a new perspective
eventually emerges...after the textbook 'grieving' process of: denial, anger,
and sorrow give way to healing.
Just like with a loved one’s passing, time passes, but losing an income can
and often does lead to losing everyTHING eventually. So what can be taken away
from the events of life after losing everything? The perspective that things
are just things.
Think about it. Is the 'thing' what is precious to you or the memory of
people who gave it to you or were with you when you acquired it or the
relationship with the people who enjoyed it with you? If I take the time to dig
to the root of why a 'thing' is precious to me, it is always because of someone
I love, not the thing I love.
The home we lost was precious due to the children's height marked on the
door post for years. The memories of the littlest one putting herself to bed
(and not making it to her room, but falling asleep at the top of the stairs so
we could carry her). The middle one
holding her arm out to the side for hours to try to catch a bird (that she
wanted to land on it) while we all worked in the garden. Our oldest, our only son,
going across the loft each night to kiss his sisters good night and pray with
them. The smells and sounds of food being prepared for a family that enjoys
each other’s company within a home that we will never be able to replaced.
The new perspective arises. Today, in the small house we are temporarily in,
with stuff that is not ours nor was around when our kids were growing up
surrounding us...we await our son and his new wife to come for the weekend. I
will get out the pizza tins I used for so many years of them growing up and
that is about all we have of 'things' ...but we will remember 24 years of
Friday nights with him (and his sisters) and how we cherish the TIME we've
spent together not the things that surrounded us.
If I can encourage anyone who has lost it all....you will gain the world if
you can gain this perspective....and nothing can take it from you but your own focus!