All of us deal with loss in life. Loss of loved ones whether through death or people going separate ways. We deal with loss of jobs, loss of physical or cognitive functioning for all kinds of reasons and so forth, loss of friends or, more often than not, people who said they were your friends and turn out to be, well, full of shit, even though you meant it. Anyway, you get my point.
Loss and the threat of loss has many faces. I have en ex-wife who deals with a rough medical condition that threatens her life. Knowing she is in this fight upsets my heart and soul so deeply there have been time I have cried my eyes swollen. While our marriage ended, I will always love this woman for who she is. She has perhaps the most widely creative mind I’ve ever know and has a sense of humor that can shame many a comedian. I asked her once if she could find a way to let me know when we had entered the handful of days in the month when it was clear she was the shining image of perfection and I was all that was wrong with the world. She smiled and said she’d try and think of something. Not long after this I was sitting in bed reading one night. She came into the room carrying a huge carving knife, looked at me with a twinkle in her eyes, and said, “Still awake? I’ll be back.” The two of us burst into laughter.
I can’t speak for you but there are people who will always be deeply important to me. The woman I just talked about is one of them. Always she will be family in my heart.
Having said all this I should add that I have dealt with my fair share of loss. I think the singular biggest barrage of loss for me occurred in 1969 when my aunt, grandmother and father died in a matter of months and weeks after my father’s death I was placed in reform school and disowned by the family. Having been adopted, which along with the gift of a loving family, if you actually wind up in a family that loves you and shows it, leaves you with an abandonment button the size of Wyoming, the loss of my second family shattered my universe and ability to feel safe in it. And so, today, I don’t take kindly to fly-by-night friendships and cast a wary eye on those who say they will always be my friend or always be there for me.
However, I find I have added a new layer of self-protection that I suppose is both poignant and humorous. My affection for fictional characters and the difficult I have when faced with losing them. I am, for instance, broken hearted that this is the last season of Monk. I love the man and will miss him. Recently I began watching and a series on Netflix called “Monarch of the Glen”. I love this series and I am early in season two. But, like the complete ass I am more than capable of being, I went on the web to learn about the series and its upcoming seasons. To my horror, I learned that some cast members leave the series and new ones join the series. That’s all well in good but some of the characters that are leaving I love. Richard Briers plays the older laird and his character is so deliciously delightful he’d fit right in with Pickwick’s mates. Now that I know some are going to leave the show, I can’t get myself to keep watching. I don’t want to go through the loss.
And then there is this amazing detective series out of England called “Foyle’s War.” I am swept up in sadness now knowing I have watched all the episodes. In fact, I put off watching the last episode for weeks just to avoid having to say goodbye. I’m tired of goodbyes.
I must apologize to you, my reader, because this is a rather self-absorbed essay. Let me just tell you that if you say you love someone, mean it, and don’t flitter off like a speck of dust in a strong breeze the minute something doesn’t go your way. If you are thinking of adopting a child I think that is wonderful. Being adopted is how I met my father, the greatest gift life has ever given me. But don’t adopt a child unless you are rock solid sure of two things: that you will love the child and be loving too the child. Not being able or willing to express the love you have for a child inevitably translates into tragic results.
One last thing, I would appreciate it if you would get Monk to stay, Richard Brier to return to “Monarch of the Glen” and “Foyle’s War” to come up with more episodes. Oh, and keep my ex-wife in your prayers. She is always in mine.