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“I have always been afraid of losing those that I love. I’ve sometimes wondered is there anyone out there afraid of losing me.” Anon.
One of my friends posted this today on Facebook and for some reason it caught my attention. I was going to do my usual click like and move on but something made me stop. Something about this quote bothered me even as it held my attention. It made me stop and take stock, but not, I think, in the way the author intended. Instead, I felt the need to write down my particular truth, in my own words, in response to this quote.
I am no longer afraid of losing those that I love. Why fear the inevitable? We will all face losses in our lifetime that will bring us to our knees. We will lose parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, husbands, wives, God forbid, children. Life is about love and loss, and coping with the aftermath. I have faced losses that have torn my life down to its very foundation. I lost both my husband and my father in 2011. That year taught me a lot about loss, but even more about life and love. I learned not to fear the loss or the pain that comes with the loss. If you choose to love, you also choose the risk of losing. And the losing will leave scars. Deep profound scars that will never heal, that are badges of honor. I wear my scars proudly, they show that I loved profoundly, I lost profoundly and that I still choose to live. 
As for wondering if there is anyone out there that is afraid of losing me, that is a matter of supreme unimportance. I think that there probably are at least a couple of people that fear losing me, and dread the pain of that loss. I am more concerned though, that they know how much I appreciate them and cherish having them in my life. 
And here comes my real fear. Regret. I fear regret, not life or death, but the regret of knowing that I have not done all that I can, that I have not shown my love and appreciation for my family, my friends, my loved ones. That I have not shown kindness, compassion and love. That I may choose to shut out and shut down, rather than let in love and feel the pain of the loss. I fear regret far more than I fear death at this point in my life.
For in the end, truly, only kindness and love matter. They are the only things that are never really lost. I have lost some of those that I love, but not my love for them, or their love for me, or my love for those that are still here. That is my truth. Know that I love you and peace out!

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Comment by lostwithouthim on August 16, 2016 at 8:17am

"If you choose to love, you also choose the risk of losing. And the losing will leave scars. Deep profound scars that will never heal, that are badges of honor. I wear my scars proudly, they show that I loved profoundly, I lost profoundly and that I still choose to live."

These words hit home for me jrval. I have had a profound amount of loss in my life, and the recent loss of my partner has been the most devastating. I feel at times that I will die of a broken heart.

Due to the great number of losses in my life I have always tried to remember to not take anything for granted because I know that tomorrow is not a guarantee. However, when things are going good, your in love with someone who loves you just as much back, and you have made plans for the rest of your days with that great sometimes forget that tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Comment by KatieR on August 4, 2016 at 11:59am
Thank you for this. This is so true and very well put. I often think about what people said to me about my husband (and still do). The stories are of how he made them feel. He loved to serve people, to care for them, make them feel special. I don't know that he intended those responses. It was just who he was. Little or nothing was said of his accomplishments, of his travels, or lack of those things. It wasn't about what he did but about who he was. And anyway, all of his experiences died with him. For example, he was thrilled to have made it to Yankee stadium. But that was his experience and his alone. It died with him. And so as I try to move forward in this life I am left with, I think about what do I want to do with the rest of it.

About 2 months after S died, a friend who was in the early days of a divorce, asked me what I looked forward to. At that point the answer was nothing. And it was true. He said that I had to have a bucket list. The thing is that neither my husband nor I were really planners. We took life as it came, enjoying each day as a gift, not really looking out to do things. Sure, there were a few places we had wanted to travel to, but now that he was gone, those few things on my list were gone. So I have given the bucket list some thought since my friend asked. Ultimately, what I have decided is that there are two things on my list. And they are there but will never be crossed off as they will never be done. Number is is to love. We are all on this planet and some people have such a difficult time with it. Maybe I can do for one person what my husband did for many. To make their time here a little bit easier. To give them even just one moment of knowing that they matter. The second is to be loved. To be the kind of person that is loveable (I think I am now, but can always do better). To invite and allow real meaningful relationships of all sorts into my life. And when I step back, those two things are very much intertwined.

I just started reading The Paradoxes of Mourning by Alan Woltfelt yesterday (so far, it has been exactly what I need at this point in my journey). I quote, "In fact, our capacity to give and receive love is what ultimately defines us. Nothing we have "accomplished" in our lifetimes matters as much as the ways we have loved one another." i have heard it said that grief is love turned inside out. As much as I would like to avoid ever feeling this way again, I do not want to avoid feeling the way I did - the way I do - about my husband and our time together. Grief sucks, but true love is awesome.
Comment by Pointbass on August 1, 2016 at 12:14pm

This is a beautiful post, thank you for sharing ... your fear of regret is one I share deeply with you. After the loss of my son in 2005 when he committed suicide and then the recent loss of my wife of 35 years I decided that I was not going to crawl up and rot in a corner, fearing that someone else I love may die. Neither of them would ever have wanted that from me and I could just see the anger rising from both of them if I were to retreat from life.

It's not easy to step forward ... it's very easy to just sit down and feel bad. But I've made the decision, for me, to keep on pushing ahead. And once I lifted my head up and cleared the tears from my eyes I was amazed at how many things came to light. The two marvelous people I was mourning were giving me sign after sign that it was okay to move ahead. I just had to open my eyes to see what was right in front of me.

I still grieve every single day for both my son and my wife. I doubt that will ever stop, and honestly, I don't want it to stop. They are a part of what makes me the person I am and I'll never forget them. And a new relationship has come about because I was able to dry my eyes long enough to look and see clearly.

Everyone has their own timetable, everyone grieves differently because no two losses are the same. My only recommendation to anyone that asks is quite simple ... don't stop grieving, but try to see what is around you. You might be very surprised to find out how close your future is ...

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