Living with loss

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I struggle to know where to start this week. With the loss of another young Zionsville student, it is difficult to find words and even harder to put them down on paper, yet alone a newspaper which seems too impersonal. Losing a loved one never makes sense, especially when the one you hold dear is a child.

My heart and prayers go out to the families of Dean and Logan, two young men whose lives ended too soon. Although the circumstances of their deaths were different, they are still tragic losses for family, friends, and the community and leave many wondering, “Why?”

Through the times when I have asked this same question in my life, I have found comfort through my faith and loved ones and also wisdom from a book called, Living with Loss, written by my former professor, Dan Moseley. In it, he talks about how we all experience loss during our lives – through divorce, a child who leaves for college, change in career, health issues, untimely death, etc.

“Because change is the fundamental nature of life, we will lose what we love,” according to Moseley. “We love what is not permanent.”

Slowly learning to live through the loss, not just get through it as quickly as possible, was probably the most healing lesson for me. You see, I am a fixer and I want to make the sadness go away when I, or those around me, are suffering. But, the greatest lesson I have learned through the years is that people grieve in different ways and at different times and giving them space to “feel the pain” may be the greatest comfort I can give to them. It was this chapter, Feeling Pain, that I skimmed through the first time, trying to avoid it, but eventually found wisdom and comfort in, often through tears as I read.

“To feel the pain of a love lost is a sign that we have indeed loved,” Moseley said. “Pain and sadness are not something we can choose to lose. Pain has to give up on us. Tears are a way of helping us rinse out our souls so that the sadness releases its grip on us.”

My prayers will continue to be with the Barrett and McGovern families with the hope that they one day will learn to live with their loss.

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