Thursday, April 11, 2013

two posts on loss

Elisson over at Lost in the Cheese Aisle writes about the impending loss of a favorite coffee shop.

As I was moved to observe when I had a kidney stone some ten years ago, this, too, shall pass. Things change, and given sufficient time, everything changes... and the things we love (or like) eventually go away. But we are not obligated to be happy about it.

Lorianne, meanwhile, looks back on the passing of her faithful dog Reggie, one year ago today.

The biggest shock of putting an elderly dog to sleep isn’t the simple reality of his absence, as you can (and do) brace yourself for that. The biggest shock of putting an elderly dog to sleep is the massive gap that’s left in your schedule, your life no longer centered on the mundane, almost liturgical routine of caretaking.

Change "dog" to "mom," and "putting to sleep" to "letting go," and I know exactly what Lorianne means. Nine months of daily care, nine months of steady, inexorable decline, and then... an empty house, and silence. I guess, when we're feeling our lowest, we have to trust that nature truly does abhor a vacuum, and that something, some happy thing, will eventually arrive and fill in that empty space. Maybe that something will come in the form of an echo of maternal laughter, or a pleasant memory from better days, or a New Purpose in Life, or a Special Someone into whose eyes we can look all day and never grow bored.



Lorianne said...

In the immediate aftermath of Reggie's death, I kept thinking of friends and family who tended their sick or elderly loved ones (parents, spouses) before they died. I can't imagine what THAT sort of loss is like, not having experienced it (yet).

Kevin Kim said...

Be that as it may, you lost a loved one, and there's no doubt Reggie loved you. I think any sort of loss is cause for us to continue with our slow, steady efforts at tikkun olam.

Hugs, L.

Elisson said...

A coffee shop is only a coffee shop, but a faithful Animal Companion is a family member. Belated condolences to Lorianne - we lost our 17-year-old cat last fall, and our house was so quiet and dark without her.

Kevin Kim said...


For what it's worth, I quoted your post because I liked the wisdom you offered at the end—wisdom that applies to more than just coffee shops. No, we don't have to be happy about the fact that the things and people we love leave us.