Losses in our life are inevitable – the whole question is how we will be able to survive and comprehend them. Here are some of the types of losses that any of us face sooner or later.
1. A friend who turns out to be unreliable
Each of us has experienced it at least once, and some more than once. A friend with whom we could laugh or cry together, work side by side, and yet somewhere deep down, intuitively, we felt that he was not entirely on our side.
He could be a very good person. Perhaps he didn’t want to hurt us. And yet he did it.
It was like that with Helen 15 years ago. Once she came to me with an acquaintance whom I saw for the first time. And it was then that my little son had a typical childish tantrum. Oddly enough, I was terribly happy. The fact is that in early childhood he was seriously ill, was literally on the verge of death. He did not have the strength for tantrums, which are completely normal for a small child. And the fact that hysteria happened, in my eyes, was evidence that the baby is on the mend. He blushed, screamed, stamped his feet – a living, healthy child!
I grabbed him in my arms and out of the corner of my ear heard the whisper of Helen’s friend: she was asking how old my son was. In the mirror, I saw Helen whisper, “Two years,” roll her eyes and shake her head. It was terrible. She judged and judged without showing the slightest empathy. Then I told her this, she apologized, I accepted her apology … But I knew that there was no return to the old relationship. It was just one lesson out of a string of many who taught me to choose exactly whom I can safely let into my life. I learned the lesson.
2. A friend whom we did not know how to appreciate
Sarah and I met in college and immediately became friends. It seemed to me that this is friendship for life. But after college we parted ways. I went to New York to pursue a career. Sarah went home and got married and became a mother much earlier than I did.
As the years passed, it seemed that we had less and less in common. I moved away from her, stopped answering calls. I was too young to understand that old friends are the ones who can remind us of who we once were. It didn’t reach me then that none of our successes, any progress didn’t cancel the closeness with those who remember us at the start and help to see what path we had traveled. I didn’t know yet that there are more important things in friendship than similarities in life. The same career growth, life in the neighborhood, the same school our children go to are not the main thing. Our emotional connection with Sarah was much more important.
And I missed her. How I regret it!
3. A person whom we cannot let into our life
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine him. There is no need to say his name out loud. You may be married. Or is he married. Or you are both not free. In your fantasies, you sometimes picture to yourself what life with him could be like. However, in reality, they are not ready to destroy their well-being for his sake. When your eyes meet, you both understand.
Sometimes you think: what’s so terrible if we allow ourselves something more? But you know the answer and keep your distance. Give up this fantasy. It won’t last long. Now open your eyes and think about how lucky you are.