Dealing with Loss

Such a title immediately brings to mind death. And death, for certain, is a loss, heavy and painful and hard to come back from. I’ve blogged about such a loss before.

But death is not the only form of loss. There is a loss of innocence, of which I’ve also blogged. The loss of a certain season in one’s life, or a difficult change. We all will experience some form of loss in our lifetime, and perhaps many times over. Sometimes it seems that others deal with these changes “better,” or at least continue to move forward despite their pain. I feel that too often I’m immobilized by loss. As harsh as it may sound, the death of my grandparents and uncle were something I could accept more than, say, “smaller” losses. I knew their suffering at the end of their lives had come to a close and now they were at peace. I knew they lived loving others, their families especially, and therefore, there was no lack of closure when they passed. I mourned them, for certain. I regretted things I’d said and done, and those I had not (about which I also blogged). But I was able to move on knowing and accepting these things.

But when I lose a period of my life, that perhaps I should simply be grateful I experienced in the first place, moving on is much more difficult.

Recently, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I had to put the bigger kids in school. For most people, this isn’t a big deal. Their kids always went to school. But for us and our kids’ individual needs, homeschooling always seemed to be the best fit. And while I had a difficult period of self doubt while pregnant with my beautiful sixth child, I never not wanted to homeschool them. After baby was born, I felt myself again – crazy pregnancy hormones gone. I felt we were back in our groove. Then hubby got a new job out of town, moved, and suddenly I felt shook up again. I was going to lose so many good friends and a strong network and support system. My kids were going to lose some very good friends. We were all going to lose a church we were deeply involved in and loved very much. It would happen… even though the move took more months than we originally thought (for which I was grateful). But I knew it was coming and I was broken.

And then another loss, the confidence others had in me and the assurance that my kids were succeeding, seemed to disappear over night. Was I doing that bad of a job? I don’t think so. My kids were happy, healthy, and they were learning. Maybe not what a public school assessment might have deemed necessary, but they were learning constantly. And they loved learning! They also were learning things that cannot be taught in school. But this lack of confidence around me once again made me lose faith in myself and made me question myself and what I was doing. Was I somehow doing some injustice to my children? I believe they had good intentions, but sometimes that is not enough to ease the pain.

We finally got settled into our new home after much bouncing about for several months. The older three went to school, with some significant delays for the 13 year old (he’s on the autism spectrum and so a plan had to be made for his needs, etc.).

Now there is a loss. In my heart, in my home, in my mind. I struggle to keep up with their school work and with their new found struggles. My heart aches, back and forth, with the ache of my mind: Why? What can I do to help with their struggles when I’m struggling also? How do I let go and watch them literally fail classes, or simply be allowed (in the 13 year old’s case) to go through the day skipping assignments? How do I reconcile these new feelings of inadequacy? I try to be grateful that we had the time together that we did. Yet that seems to be clouded by the doubt: should I have started this journey in the first place? I never planned to not see it through to the end! But I didn’t plan for the what if of not being able to. And if that what if was possible, should I have ever started?

How do I open up again when I feel such a disconnect from those who stopped supporting me and believing in me?

And so the loss that I cannot really explain in words, can’t gather in my thoughts, can’t seem to reconcile during the day as I focus my attention on the little three… the immobilization of helplessness. And the fear that this loss will be misunderstood for selfishness, more hormones, or simply something that’s “not that big of a deal.”

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