On loss and being with loss

Loss finds us all

There is no escaping loss, given time it finds us – each and every one of us.  Some lose their favourite toys. Some lose pets. Some lose hopes and dreams. Some lose lovers.  Some lose siblings. Some lose parents. Some lose friends. Some lose jobs. Some lose homes. Some lose all of their wealth. Some lose their reputation and status. Some lose their limbs. And then there are those of us who lose their ‘world’.

Recently, pregnant sister-in-law lost her baby.  A miscarriage after three months. Complete surprise. Covered in blood. Dream shattered.  Pain. Tears.  Brother’s delight turns to sorrow.  How to be with his sorrow and be there for his wife?  It is hard – never faced this loss before.

How to be with this loss when it shows up?

When loss shows up in our house of being it is easier to bear if our family and friends are there for us: there by our sides, providing a listening for our sorrow, and sharing our grief. Thankfully, family and friends showed up for sister-in-law.

When loss shows up in our house of being you/I are confronted with choice.  What choice?  The choice about story: the story you/I make about the loss.  This is a choice that matters.  The story that you/I make determines our being: how you/I show up in the world.

Sister-in-law chooses a story that sets her free

Sister-in-law made a wise choice.  She chose a story that allows her to make sense of her loss, be with her loss, and be free of her loss.  Put differently, she choose a story that leaves her being powerful in life and not showing up as a ‘victim’.  What story did she make?  The story goes like this.

a) The human body, my body, is wise.  If it chose to ‘miscarry’ then this was the right course of action for the baby and for me.  Most likely there was something wrong with the baby and its development.  And if the baby had been born then there would have been suffering for the baby. And for me. And her father.

b) I am blessed in that I already have a young daughter.  She is healthy. She is beautiful. She is growing up nicely.  We have a great relationship.

c) If I can make one baby successfully then I can make another.  So I look into the future and I live into the possibility that there will be another healthy baby – sooner or later.  When the time is right the baby will show up.  Now let’s be with life just as it is and just as it is not.  Let me count my blessings.

I find myself inspired by the wisdom of sister-in-law.  I find myself inspired by the wisdom of brother who has adopted the same story. And this story can be a source of inspiration to me when I am faced with loss.