Loss is a part of life I've grown all to familiar with in the last few years. Prior to 2013, the only loss I'd ever know was grandparents, which was painful, but when people die in their 80's and 90's, after long and fruitful lives, it can be equal parts joyful and painful. But in 2013 loss became such a big part of my life, that it wove its' way into the tapestry that is me.
The first loss I felt in such a way that it knocked me off of my feet, and then kicked me a few times while I was down was when we lost our daughter. Yeah. I've blogged about it a few times. Long story short: we had a failed adoption, and lost a daughter we'd cared for for almost a year. It was an agonizing loss, one that ultimately gave me, and some of my family members, PTSD--an ailment I thought was exclusive to veterans.
Wrong. Turns out any Joe-blow can get PTSD. And it's no fun.
The second loss I've felt in recent years is the loss of our home. Though we made the choice to move to South Korea for my husband's job, it wasn't an easy process in the slightest. It's difficult enough to pick up and move away from the area you grew up in to a foreign-freaking-country, but add in the fact that I had four children dependent on my calm, collected attitude about such a gross change...and I was a hot mess. Next month, it will have been two years since we moved abroad, and I can say without hesitation that despite being used to my new home...
I still miss my country.
I still miss my state.
I still miss my street. (Not the house, though...I was OVER that house.) :)
I still miss my church family.
I still miss the air, the trees, the smells, the flowers, the seasons, and the animals.
I miss it all. It was home. Who knows where we'll wind up when we return to the USA, but I'll always feel the loss of my original home. And the loss of my children's original home.
Loss has reared its ugly, unwanted head twice in my life this winter, both times reminding me of two things I wish I'd paid more attention to prior to the Winter from Hell... first, that I am not at all in control of my life. God does what He wants, when He wants to do it, and I am just along for the ride. And second, one should never assume that they still have time to fix things with people, visit with people, talk to people, or right wrongs with people. The second you assume you have plenty of time is the very moment time will pluck that person from your life permanently. And it sucks. Hard.
In November my dad died. We were not on great terms, and I missed my opportunity to fix things. Or at least put them to rest. You can read about that here. When he was suddenly gone, loss became that ever-present part of my life that I'd mistakenly thought I'd put behind me after we lost our daughter. It woke up from hibernation and growled at me in the night. It clawed at the back of my head, reminding me during extremely inopportune times that I was sad...epically, cripplingly sad, and I had no choice but to deal with it, whether I liked it or not. And so I did. Which calmed the beast. It's still there. Just growling much more quietly now. Reminding me of its presence, even when I wish I could just forget. Sometimes I miss my dad so much it hurts--physically hurts--just like it did when we lost our daughter. Loss seeps into the bones and makes them ache. I hate that.
Loss wasn't done with me, though, oh no.
This last week, my uncle died. It wasn't terribly shocking, as he wasn't in good health, but his decline happened rapidly, and I'd originally thought that I would be able to see him one last time when we were home in the USA this summer. In fact, he was one of the few relatives that actually wanted to see my family while we were stateside, and now he's gone. And I'm sad. Not cripplingly sad, but sad that I didn't get to see him, sit with him, enjoy our banter, and listen to his wit again. He was a good uncle. He'd made a career out of it, having not ever had children himself. He took his role of uncle seriously, and knew each of us kids--and our kids--by name. He was smart, and observant. He was my dad's friend long ago. He was my mom's baby brother. He was a man my brothers looked up to. I'm reeling from the loss of this epic man happening so soon after the loss of my dad.
I'm sick of loss. I've had about enough of it in my life. Especially over this last few months. There has been so much loss, and stress, and fear, and physical pain. I'm over this melodramatic winter.
Of course, life often has its own plans, doesn't it? I'm sure I'll see more loss at some point. It's inevitable, isn't it?
Kind of sucks.