Why does losing someone we love hurt so much?

One of the most painful experiences we all experience in this life is losing someone we love. Even though we know it’s coming, nothing can prepare us for the flood of emotions that hit us like a wave on rocks when it occurs. It leaves an emotional and spiritual scar in each of us. A unique scar each time someone we love leaves us as they enter into eternity. The great C. S. Lewis described this hurt when he stated,

“The death of a beloved is an amputation.”

When we love someone, they become a part of us. They’re in our hearts, our thoughts, our memories, and our hopes and in our prayers. We share with them our hurts, our dreams, our troubles, and our joys. We need them as much as we need our own hand. They know us as much as we know ourselves. To love them is everything, and to lose them,  as C. S. Lewis accurately describes, is an amputation of something inside of us. Our hearts feel empty as if the part that person occupied is now missing and it’s a void that is never filled again. They say that time heals the wounds, but every so often we find a tear running down our face as a memory that escaped our heart.

Everyone deals with death differently. Personally, I rely on God and His promise of eternal peace for those who trusted in Jesus. No more pain, tears, or death in heaven, but eternal peace with God. But of course, I also rely on the support of family and friends. Whether secular or religious, each of us can and should rely on our relationships with others to helps us get through the hard times in life. When our legs are weak and our hearts are heavy with sorrow, leaning on family and friends for support and a shoulder to cry on is good medicine. This is why it’s important to maintain and keep good relationships, because in our times of need, our support is only a phone call away.

It’s said that only two things are certain in life, taxes and death. Unfortunately, each of us will go through the pain brought by death. It’s a painful sting. It pierces the heart. It batters the soul. It torments the mind. With the recent loss of my uncle, I thought about my brother I lost a few years ago, which I still think about often, involuntarily most of the time. It just seems to creep up on you. A memory that won’t fade, a wound that won’t heal and if it does, it’s easily reopened. Something as little or insignificant as a song, a scent, a phrase, a photo or a touch can rip out the wound and let the memories flow out, some good, some bad, some joyful, but mostly sad. We feel alone and helpless. Guilty and insecure. We feel desperate.

During tough times, an idle mind is not good for the soul. We tend to reflect on the negative, which is unhealthy. For this reason, it’s important to keep our mind preoccupied with activities that stimulate it with other thoughts, for example, a hobby, traveling, writing, etc.. This is done not to forget, but to help cope. There’s no benefit on concentrating on things we cannot change, but there is benefit in reflecting on it, but not letting it consume us.

Each of us grieve in different ways, but I hope each of us will find joy once again. For me, death is not final because My God, Jesus, conquered it and offered eternal life. That belief helps alleviate the pain felt by the death of a loved one. For those who don’t believe as I do, I still hope  you find peace in this life and I hope you have relationships to help you through your difficult times. I hope you have an escape to keep your mind on other things as you grieve and heal.