The recent move of a furniture item left me thinking about loss as I tried to analyze my emotional attachment to a “thing.” The title of a chapter in a book (The Long Run by Richard Sherry) summarizes my thoughts: Accumulated Losses. I start from the end and work backward.
All things are temporary. One day we will travel a holy highway leading us to our heavenly home where material things will not matter. We will feast at the Lord’s table and enjoy the company of those who have gone before us. Most blessed of all will be seeing Jesus face-to-face.
In 2017 we made a wise decision to sell our home in Terre Haute, IN, and move to Indianapolis, buying a home together with our daughter and her husband. But this move meant loss of property (including our Narnia lamp) and giving away lots of things. A friend helped with perspective after he toured the apartment space in our new home. I said something about all we had lost and he replied, “But you have all you need.” His correct evaluation led me to a grateful attitude.
The greatest loss I currently experience is watching and listening to my husband whose memory diminishes almost daily. A few years ago at Christmas our daughter gave her dad a book of family photos so he can readily identify those he loves, connecting names with faces.
Friends contact us about family members who have died, so it helps Bill relate when I show him a photo of that person. Those losses have added to our grief of late: my brother-in-law in NM, one of Bill’s seminary friends (90-years-old), a member of our former church, and the son of a college co-worker. We lift them in prayer.
I conclude that loss hurts but can be a gift to new connections. While we give things away, we hold onto memories associated with those objects. And one day we will know what truly matters.