Loss

I wrote this post in response to a request for submissions on someone else’s blog. The idea was to write about what grief means for us as individuals. Unsurprisingly it wasn’t posted but as it was already written, I thought I’d publish it on my own blog anyway.

I haven’t really had to cope with grief over the loss of a loved one. I mean, I have lost my grandparents which was very sad and I have attended funerals and observed others’ grief. Raw and real. I haven’t been though it myself though and I am thankful for that. I know my time will come. 
Loss comes to us in many ways though. I have experienced it a few times and the grief process is not an easy one to manage. What can be particularly difficult is when you have chosen the situation that leads to the loss. Then it becomes your own doing and trickier to grieve. What can further complicate matters is when guilt and shame are added into the mix. I look back and it’s no wonder I struggle with my mental health some days. One day I’ll write about it. When I’m brave and ready. 
Today, though, I am contemplating loss of what once was and the loss of potential of what might have been. This can include many things really. Youth and growing older, young love, old love, children growing up and away, friendships ending, marriage changing, family, security, life with alcohol. Many things have come and gone and altered. I look back and there aren’t many people in my life now who were there 15 years ago and likely it will be a similar story in 15 years time. I am not a person that lets go very easily. I absolutely hate saying goodbye. You can imagine how difficult it was to get me to leave a party after I’d been drinking. Another tick for sobriety. Endings make me incredibly sad and I often try to avoid them. It’s important to acknowledge them though and to start the grief process. That’s the only way you can come out the other side. Even when it has really hurt to say goodbye and the pain has been almost unbearable, eventually I am able to reflect back and feel positive about most of the things I have lost, even if the losing was horrible. 
I do wonder sometimes whether is is better not to open ourselves up to further loss. Why continue, when you reach the tender age of 48 and older, to form new friendships and relationships that by the very law of nature will lead to loss? People leave. It’s a fact. Situations change. Another fact. I think I will always continue to look for that connection and friendship with others though, despite feeling the grief of my own personal circumstances right now. If I didn’t reach out to others then I would not have found the support I have received via this blogging community. New friendships are always possible and endings can lead to fresh starts and adventure. So I won’t fear the future because it might bring loss and grief. That would be a life half lived. I’ll be sure to remind myself of this as and when the sun sets on another goodbye.
Claire x

32 thoughts on “Loss”

  1. Wonderful reflections. I hate goodbyes as well. But there is something rare and precious about close friendships and relationships that makes it worth the risk. Like we are better in some way, for knowing them. Sobriety has brought me into this circle of wonderful people I would not otherwise have met. So thankful for you and the other sober bloggers that make my world a brighter place. 💕😘

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    1. I am so thankful too and I try not to regret any friendship or relationship even if it is now over and was painful to say goodbye. (Some I plainly regret and that’s that! 😂). If I hadn’t taken the step to start my blog I certainly wouldn’t be sober and I would have lost out on friendships that I really value and cherish and that absolutely make my world a brighter place 💕❤️😘

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  2. Ah, yes. I feel this way, too. There is something about this age where you have to face up to the fact that some things will never be and some things will never be the way you expected them to be. And I grieve my lost friendships, too, although not everyone leaves. I have a few friendships I’ve kept for a long, long time. Not as many as I would like, though. It’s worth it, though, to make a friend. Even if risky. Hugs! 😘

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    1. It is a strange time of life that is for sure. What is so lovely though is making new friendships. Getting to know you and others via these blogs has brought me joy I wouldn’t have ever believed if so one had told me a year ago. It is absolutely worth the risk. 💕🤗

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  3. Beautiful post. I too have so far managed to avoid any close loss. (My dad, but that was nearly twenty five years ago and drinking helped numb that experience.)
    I don’t know how I will respond when the time comes, but as you mentioned, it’s inevitable. Being sober hopefully gives us all an advantage to respond to whatever we will experience in the moment.

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  4. “With love comes pain” said a dear friend of mine, who loved to talk about relationships, who died in a car accident a few years ago.
    I often think about loss and growing older – inevitably the older we get the more loss we experience. Funerals are a social event for the elderly. Yet there they are, experiencing some joy in life still, from what I’ve seen. Of course I am afraid of some unexpected tragic loss, but I try to not dwell on it… the best I can do is enjoy what I’ve got now and set myself up (through building relationships and healthy habits) to deal with loss when it comes.

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    1. I only just realised I didn’t reply to your comment. Sorry. You are totally right. We will experience more loss the older we get. I’m struggling with loss of different things though, not just people. Relationships change and circumstances alter. We need to build good habits and positive mental health to deal with life’s challenges as best we can I suppose. Nope oh are ok xx

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  5. Great post Claire – I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve not lost anyone close – rare at 55 – my divorce was like a bereavement in many ways even though I wanted it. Like you I feel the loss of what might have been – particularly in relation to alcohol – so much wasted time but we are where we are and I agree with Sober Veg Mama that love comes with pain – on my dark days I think all I have to look forward to is loss but that’s just turning the light of now into a shadow and now is definitely lighter without alcohol – love and hugs my friend 💞💞

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    1. I think we do feel some losses like a bereavement even when no one has died. I don’t know what will happen with my current marital circumstances but I do know I am grieving for the relationship we once had and is now lost. It’s so important to try and keep in the now and not look too far ahead. Not always easy but really important to keep those shadows at bay. ❤️💕🤗

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  6. The grief and loss associated with my divorce, after 25 years together, was excruciatingly deep. I didn’t think I would manage.
    I did, and a new, lighted world has emerged.

    I, too, strive for the middle path of self protection…but life never works that way!

    Lovely post.
    Anne

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    1. I can only imagine how difficult that must have been. I have been with my husband for 21 years .. we are struggling and it’s the saddest thing. I am so glad you have come through it and found peace.

      Nope, life likes to challenge us for sure! Thanks for reading and commenting. I do appreciate it so much. Xx

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  7. Nice post Claire and you’re right, living involves loss, inevitable going that the clocking starts running down as soon as we are born. I sometimes think of change rather than loss , seems easier to deal with accepting that everything changes rather than everything is lost. It’s one of the biggest challenges , living in a state of impermanence but it’s that that often makes life interesting. Keep making those connections! X

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  8. Lovely post 🙂 I hate goodbyes too but I’ve had so many over the years that I’ve had plenty of practice. As for the end of the party, man can I relate to that !!! hahahah xxx Anne

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    1. I was AWFUL at the end of any night that involved drinking. Practically forcing others to carry on when they wanted to end the evening. So embarrassing to think back now 🙄😂😊

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