L75: Loss

I sometimes play tricks on myself. I use the most painful loss in my life and compare it to something I think I am missing, needing or wanting. It works because there isn’t anything in creation that can compare. As of this week there are now (at least) 4,000 families around this country who lost a precious family member to the aggressive invasions and occupations in the Middle East. Nothing these families might purchase will compare with the loved one who is gone forever. Even though those of all ages died and will be mourned, many were still only children, teenagers.

I lost my daughter to suicide with a gun eighteen years ago, when she was only nineteen years old. But on her birth date, March 27, she fills my heart and my thoughts. Her name was Angela and we called her Angel. She was an incredible person – beautiful, intelligent, funny, street smart and very good hearted. I never stop missing her in my life and I celebrate that she was born and that I enjoyed raising her and even working with her - as a young adult. She was the whiz kid techie office manager, who taught herself the IT world and accounting in the Manhattan interior design firm where I worked in the eighties. Not many parents get that experience in this day and age. I cherish the memory.

But this March 27 date does trigger thoughts of loss, just as the May 31 anniversary of Angel’s death does. Loss through death is a part of everyone’s life. Death is particularly devastating when someone dies young, suddenly or without cause. As usual I am trying to glean from all this feeling something that I can grasp to share or use to move along.

Just because Janis Joplin’s lyrics, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing else to lose” are so true form me, doesn’t mean I roll over on every loss. I think we all should be fighting tooth and nail for what is becoming a long list of losses for Americans.

Except for a tiny percentage of people who have gained or expanded their extreme wealth, the last eight years has meant loss in every aspect of life:

Through grassroots, netroots, friendships, community councils, neighborhood associations, letters to the editors, unions and book clubs we need to talk to each other and encourage each other. At some point it would be good if we could stop accepting our assigned roles as consumers and become citizens again. I have seen and read how this process was foisted on Americans and then other western countries via advertising after WWII. Check out The Century of the Self documentaries from the BBC for some real insight on this subject.

Oh, did mention that I cancelled my DirecTV yesterday? So, last night was my first night in almost a decade without digital or satellite television. I have been whining about my addiction to television for a very long time. I have claimed that I miss reading novels. Now it is a fait accompli. I watched the above BBC documentaries on my computer instead.

I am really uncomfortable, anxious and cranky. Just like I was when I quit smoking. Just like I was when I decided against internet for some months in ’05. Or when I gave up carbohydrates for most meals or shopping at Wal-Mart . . Or when I stopped eating meat at every meal . . . Or when, you get the idea. We are all conditioned through the onslaught of this consumer social set-up to believe that discomfort is pain. We come to believe that unhappy is just negative thinking or mental depression that is the individual’s responsibility to eliminate instead of something outside of us to address.

We will learn how to get back what we have lost in our country. Many have supposedly died for our way of life. Let’s fight for the way of life our loved ones might have been willing to fight for or we would have longed for them to have lived.

BTW, I will get past this lack of television. I have lost things far more valuable and survived. And, unlike the long list of links above, I chose to lose my television viewing. My choice.


Theresa said...

Thinking of you on this bittersweet day. Thank you for showing how loss can result in tenacity, fortitude and courage.

katecontinued said...

I appreciate your thoughtful comment.