Do Little Losses Prepare Us for Big Ones?
I wrote earlier this month about a long ago event of betrayal. Of pain. Of grief. Yes, I’m used to writing about grief, but not this grief, not this particular loss.
The Wonder Report published the article My Dream Didn’t Come True, and Here’s Why It Was the Best Thing to Happen I began the story with the moment I realized I’d lost the man I loved. Forever. He probably did not consider his action a betrayal, but I did.
I typically write about loss associated with death. So what does this incident that happened 20 years ago have to do with my writing and my journey of loss?
Could it be that those “little” griefs along the way prepare us for the “big” griefs?
That’s what this relationship did. In many ways. Not just at the end point.
First of all, I was 25 years old. A friend’s brother had died, and I’d known him, but the greatest loss I’d known was the death of my dog. I was “Wednesday’s child, full of woe,” as the nursery rhyme goes. Any type of loss tended to hit me hard. The tears came down.
The man I dated was a widower. Hoping to understand what he was going through – and hoping in a childishly ignorant and yes, selfish way, to end his grief and clear a path of marriage to me – I wanted to suggest ways he complete the grieving process. Thus, I began reading about grief.
I know now that wasn’t wise. Of course it was not effective. He was 10 years my senior, and his experience with death was unlike anything I could understand. But I was young and in love.
Nonetheless, this situation, paired with going to crime scenes for my job as a reporter, initiated what today is a ministry. Sandwiched between sits the deaths of my parents and other loved ones several years after that romance.
While the “seed” was the experience 20 years ago, it was the life-shattering personal experience of losing my parents that launched an intentional lifestyle to help other grieving people by sharing my story. And listening to theirs.
How did the “little” griefs prepare me for the “big” griefs?
To clarify, nothing could have fully prepared me for my father’s death in 2006, nor the death three years later of my mother. However, because I had studied grief and previously had suffered heartbreaking loss, I knew there was something on the other side of sorrow. I’d rebuilt my life.
I knew there was hope. And so I pressed on after the deaths of my parents. I’d learned grief could not be given a deadline. I gave it full rein.
And that’s what the article in The Wonder Report is really about – pressing on through the loss of our dreams. Through the loss of loves, jobs and plans. What I like most about looking back on dead dreams is seeing in hindsight how God took what was a devastating blow and turned life into a bundle of blessings.
He promises in Romans 8:28: “All things work together for good to those who love God.”
That does not mean all the stuff is good. It means he will bring good stuff out of the bad.
That is what keeps me pressing on through the losses. His promise – and a history of seeing his word fulfilled time and time again.
What is your story? What dream did not come true – but good came out of it?
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