The Weight of Loss Upon Loss

 

image © Mariann Martland

There is loss. 

There is always loss. 

Nobody escapes it in life. 

We will all lose. We will all feel the ache that comes with the deepest of losses. 

We will all grieve and there is always more to lose. I am learning this. 

So many times in the last few years I have reached a point where I have truly believed that I could not lose anymore in my life or anymore of myself than I had. I was at the bottom of the well. I had lost everything. 

But I hadn’t. 

I had not lost everything. 

Because a week or a month or a little while later I lost some more. Some more of my past, some more of my future, some more of my present, someone else, a person, a presence, a belief, a trust, a faith, a love, a life, a memory, a hope, a reality, a possibility. 

Over and over and over and over. 

My life was disintegrating before my eyes and all I could see and feel was an ever increasing pile of loss upon loss upon loss. Each time I believed there was not enough left to lose anymore. I would not live or survive or be able to continue if anymore was lost. 

And then it happened. I experienced loss again. And again. And again. And each time all I had left were the voices from afar telling me that this is where I could begin to find myself, to build a life from the place where all was lost. But then I lost again. I did not build. I disintegrated further. Yet again believing that this must be it. This must be the point where it ends. Either life ends as I do not have enough to continue with, or loss ends and life begins as I don’t have anything left to lose so I can only possibly begin to create anew. 

I have been there so often. The last time I reached there I lost something I held so dear. I lost something I could not bear to speak of to anyone. And I truly believed, again, that there could now be nothing left to lose. 

Nothing. 

Not a single thing. As this was my last hope in the world. 

Somehow I kept moving. Trying to build myself from here but all the while, and still, knowing that I was just going through the motions and this loss was and is deeper than I have let myself fully comprehend. 

I was at rock bottom. 

And where do you go when you hit rock bottom? When the piles of loss upon loss are pushing you down to the ground and breaking you into nothingness. 

I still do not have the answer. And then, once again, I was taken unaware with yet another loss. 

Again I could say right now that this has to be it. The last loss. I cannot lose anymore. I cannot possibly have anything else left to lose. But I know I do, I know I must, because the memory of the loss I experienced before this one is still so new and so raw that this newest loss, this loss that hit me yesterday seemed impossible a few weeks ago. But it was. 

It was possible to lose more. I lost more. I am losing more. Another part of me has disintegrated under the weight of another loss and is continuing to disintegrate before my eyes. 

So this time, even though the words actually come out of my mouth at times: “I couldn’t possibly lose anymore now,” I knew and now know that it is possible. It is always possible to lose more. 

There is always more to lose. 

And whilst there is comfort there, comfort in the knowledge that all is not lost, all is never lost, because there is always something left to lose, be it big or small, it is also the scariest thing I could face right now. 

I cannot possibly begin to think that I could lose anymore of my life or of myself. This loss, and the loss before, and the loss before that, and the loss before that… have broken me completely and I am barely breathing under the weight of loss upon loss upon loss. 

To lose more now would be unbearable, but haven’t I said that before? 

How much strength do our bodies have when we take all we thought we had away? How much can our bodies and our lives disintegrate before we cannot crumble further? How heavy can the weight of loss upon loss get before it crushes and destroys us completely?

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8 thoughts on “The Weight of Loss Upon Loss

  1. This got me thinking and wondering what has made the loss start to feel easier to bear? I think that something shifted and I feel less defined by the losses and more by who I am and what I do have. As you say, there always is more to lose. And that means that there is more there that is important to us than we tend to remember when we are feeling the loss.

    I don’t know whether you are talking about current losses (job, love, friend) or past newly realized losses (abuse by someone whom you had thought was good for you). I think that many of those past losses that were so threatening that we couldn’t allow ourselves to know them for years are far more powerful than the present losses. So often they seem to threaten our very sense of self. And often they do mean that you need to change your understanding of where you came from, but they don’t actually change who you are. Those changes already happened a very long time ago. You may have temporary reactions, but the core you is still you.

    I guess that what I am trying to say is that at least the losses can’t take you from you. I can imagine that there are times when they feel like they are threatening to, though….

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are absolutely right – the losses or perceived losses from the past can be so much more difficult to bear. I wrote this on my previous blog, but I felt a connection to it for where I am at the moment. And for right now I guess I’m talking about all of the losses, present losses in terms of people, places, work and past loss in terms of memories and accepting hard hard truths.

      I think I’m in much more of a place of building from the place where everything feels lost, knowing deep down there is hope there but feeling lost all the while, but it’s still not easy from that standpoint. It’s overwhelming at best. But yes…the ‘you’ at the core of who we are is always there… I think when a lot of the external or false internal beliefs are shadowing this it is difficult to recognise the real you and so it become a confusing foundation to hold onto. So then the “who am I?” question shows up again in full force.

      Oh I am so glad to be back in touch with you my dear… You get it, you always get it! 💜

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  2. I am stunned by the wisdom in this post, in your words, “all is never lost, because there is always something left to lose”. That is so hopeful and hopeless at the same time. I am glad that you have been strong and able enough to put words on your losses, to verbalise what these unhappy circumstances are, and how you see it all tumbling down, but know this. We only lose what we were never meant to have. I don’t mean “meant to” in a fatalistic sense, only that… there is a better future out there waiting, and only by losing (giving up) what you used to hold dear, can you make room for it.

    The giving up process is vast and overwhelming, I am going through one myself. But there is a future that you have to create for yourself in which you realise, “I can’t believe I used to *want* this. It was so wrong for me. He was so wrong for me. The job was so wrong for me. Those friends were wrong for me. Ugh”. Until then, yes, it hurts and it feels like loss, but loss is part of finding what’s new and right and good for you. If you’re losing stuff, there’s a reason for it. Hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your words here my dear. Loss is such a complicated experience, one that is in some ways happening constantly for everyone and it can be so confusing when we know it is the right thing but are still grieving for the losses. Hugs to you too xx

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