A lot of people I know have experienced great loss in recent days. Some lost someone that lived a full an long life and others a child that has yet to breathe air into their lungs.
I lost someone earlier this year.
It would be easy to concentrate on the loss, to spend days grieving what is now gone or to imagine what life would be life without losing.
But, I find that in almost every case, the loss is outweighed by what we gained when that person was with us. Maybe, I should measure people more by what they gave than what was taken away when they left this life.
As I sit here now, I can think back about my grandpas. I can wonder what it would be like if my grandson could crawl up their laps and experience the entertainment each of them could give in their own unique way.
I believe I could begin to shed tears right now, thinking about what can never be, even though they left earth forty years ago.
Still, they both live on in me. I’m not just like either of them but I’m a lot like both of them. That’s because they gave me more than was taken away from me.
Oh, I could still deny that fact and pretend that they don’t influence me every single day, cry and lament loss so much that I don’t realize my gain. But I have been forever changed by them.
We have all been forever changed by all of our loss.
It is so easy to turn my back on the riches of a good friend, a family member or someone I respect in order to wish upon a star for what might have been.
I just feel that today, I look back on the blessings in my life who I can no longer walk up to and say, “Good morning” to and hear them say the same to me. They are all here, not like ghosts haunting my life, but as memories and experience that have shaped me into who I am.
I remember when my friend, George, died a few years ago. I was wanting to be George because I figured he was better than me. Of course, I could never be George. Only George could do that. He was an amazing man.
But, I am a different Mike. George did a great job of instilling bits of himself in people all over the place. I’ll never be George but he changed Mike.
There was great loss when he left but I gained a lot while he was here.
I have no idea why I wandered off this way today. Maybe I’m just touched by the loss all around today and want to encourage people to look past the loss.
Life means a great deal. Even that little baby that was born still has left something behind on this planet.
I only have so many breaths to take before I am someone’s loss. I need to be sure to leave a lot behind.