Our lives are patchworks of experiences and people. Family, friends, lovers, partners, work colleagues, acquaintances and strangers are woven deeply into our memories. Over time, we stitch them together into patterns, confident that they will last forever. Of course, this is rarely the case and, ultimately, we must face the fact that dealing with loss is an inevitable part of life.
The treads that make up the tapestries of our lives vary in color and texture. Our family memories, especially those of our children, are bound by invisible cords of steel. Our friends and acquaintances are woven into our lives with pretty wool and colored ribbons. The cords differ in strength, but, they are all important. They are our memories. And, we are our memories.
So, we wrap ourselves in the fabric that we weave. We shelter ourselves from the cold realities of life. We ask our blanket not to unravel. Then loss comes – and all we can do is try to stop the fabric that we wove from coming apart in its entirety.
Greta Crosby beautifully described the impact that loss has on our lives when she said, “Loss makes artists of us all as we weave new patterns in the fabric of our lives.” This is the lesson that loss teaches us. Not to fear the pain, for it is inevitable, but, to take control and creatively build a new future.
When we are dealing with loss, the threads that connect our memories and shape our identity break and are forced to build new patterns. Loss tears the fabric of our lives. This is inevitable. But, through the pain, we can learn to weave new threads. We can find meaning in the chaos – not immediately, but, with time.
Repairing our life’s fabric requires us to use entirely new materials. This in turn, requires us to use new creative tools. We must find our inner strength and fight the temptation to become lost in the past. This could involve introducing new people or places into our life. Or, it could involve going inside and changing our own thoughts.
Loss requires us to find creative responses in order to find meaning and heal. Do not fear for losing the past. It will always be there, in your heart. Nothing that was once a part of the fabric of your life can ever truly disappear.
Sometimes, however, loss demands that the patterns of our future have to change. We are always creators of our lives. We are like artists painting a new landscape on which to thrive and find happiness again.
When we experience loss, how do you think we should balance honoring the past and building a new and vibrant future? Do you have any small rituals that you use to honor the people that you have lost? What advice would you give to another woman who is going through a significant loss in her life? Please join the conversation.