Do you remember your very first loss? I don’t mean when you lost or misplaced something you cared about, I mean the first time you lost someone or something you truly loved.
The first loss I vividly recall is when our much loved black and brown dachshund named Penny died when I was ten years old. It was a cold January night and she died while resting quietly by the heat register in the bathroom after laboring for hours to just keep breathing.
I can still picture that scene complete with every detail.
Losing a pet is often our first experience with loss and grief.
Since that time there have been many losses, more significant ones than the loss of a family pet, and of course more losses are yet to come.
Times of loss usually represent times of great significance in our lives, and yet we often avoid talking about such times and such losses.
This is something that’s always baffled me, this tendency many of us have to avoid talking about death, grief and loss.
Why do we avoid these topics so much?
Is it because it means we must then think about our own mortality?
Do we fear what others might think of us?
Do we think no one will care or understand?
Do we worry about bringing up a topic some might consider too depressing?
Do we think we don’t know how to talk about them or that it’s just too hard?
I have no answers.
When I started this blog among other things, I wanted to write about breast cancer and loss. For me the two are intertwined, inseparable since as most of you know, my mother died from metastatic breast cancer. My cancer experience began with her cancer experience. I write about other stuff as well, but these two topics will continue to be my primary focus until, if and when, I decide to change course.
Sometimes it’s hard to know how much to divulge about your breast cancer experience. Sometimes it’s even harder to know how much to divulge about your experience with loss.
When in doubt, I remember what friend and fellow blogger Jackie, author of From Zero to Mastectomy, said to me quite some time ago, “Never be afraid to write what’s in your heart, Nancy.”
Thanks for the great advice, Jackie.
One of my goals this year is to keep doing just that, even when it’s hard, maybe especially then.
Breast cancer is personal, but it’s also a topic many others relate to. Sharing about it hopefully helps others heal and feel less alone.
Loss is personal too, but it’s a universal experience almost everyone relates to or will at some point. Sharing about loss hopefully helps others heal and feel less alone as well.
And so, dear readers, this is why I choose to write about these things, these things of the heart.
Do you remember your very first significant loss?
Why do think people often avoid this topic despite the fact it’s a universal experience?
Do you have a loss you’d like to share about?