This is a picture of a body transformation which is quite pun-intended with the text “ready to be a loser”. If you know someone who is committed in working out, dieting, or simply attempting to lose weight then this is the product for him or her.
For me, losing things can get pretty annoying. When I misplace my pens, cards or even my slippers, I annoyingly search there’s a sense of relief when it is found. It’s a small problem with a quick solution since material things can be replaced. There’s a whole lot of difference when we lose the people we love. I often had anxious thoughts about losing the people in my life, because I never really lost somebody through death within my first and second degree family. I always told myself that I wouldn’t know what to do if that day happens. I knew in my heart that loss is inevitable and someday I am going to face it. However, here I am in this moment where I finally faced the loss of my grandfather.
I was in and out of the hospital, helping to watch over, visit and take care of my grandfather when he was severely ill. At home, I’d visit him and do therapy sessions for him. When he was sick, I kept asking everyone to pray for him. I was hopeful that he will recover. I even claimed by faith he would live to see my first child. But of course I knew it was all up to God and I surrendered everything to Him. However, like any other human, I was not invincible to the pain of the loss of my lolo.
The moment I found out, I was at home and my mother messaged me that my lolo is gone. I was wailing, shouting and crying. It was severely heartbreaking. I knew his time would come and everybody’s time would come, but it did not stop me from feeling so much pain. I had thoughts that I wished I was there in the moment before he passed away, and wishing I could have done something more to help him stay alive. It was pain in the thoughts that from here on, something irreplaceable will be gone. Something irreversible just happened. From here, we can’t make new memories anymore. I allowed myself to feel these things. Even in my lolo’s cremation and burial I still cried because seeing his body in the furnace and his urn being laid to rest in the grave represented finality for me and my family that life from here on is without him.
That’s the irony of painful things though. Like a piece of an ugly coal in a furnace, pain burns you the point that you are like a refined diamond. Pain transforms you. Your response to pain’s attempt of change is what matters. So here are some lessons I have learned through loss.
The Lesson of Loss
1. I learned about my Lolo’s Life
I learned that he is a hardworking man, that he served his family greatly and loved them by giving them a comfortable life. When we were baking yesterday, my lola told me a story when they lived in Brunei. She wanted an oven for baking but they didn’t have money to buy yet as they had some debts before moving to Brunei. So he took a big metal can and lovingly made a makeshift oven for my lola until he is able to buy an oven. His love for my lola was immense, that even when we were in the hospital taking care of him, the first person he looks for is my lola.
2. I learned that Family is My First Ministry
Sometimes we can get to busy with things which might seem like a priority. But when stripped of everything else, we realize that it isn’t as important as those people we love. We get busy serving other people and groups, get drained in our work, hobbies and other tasks that we forget to realize that we have not given time to our family. But deep inside when asked what really matters the most, it’s family. It’s strange how we love them the most but forget to spend time with them. And so I learned that we should spend time with the ones we love the most.
3. I learned that Loss is a Shared Experience
I learned that I am not alone in losing. I have friends who lost fathers, mothers, grandparents and siblings. Sometimes we experience pain so that we can also experience the comfort and sympathy given by others. It’s a shared experience that makes us bond, that makes us identify with one another.
4. I learned about Life through Death
It’s a sobering realization for me that we as humans won’t live forever in this earth. So given this realization, we ought not to place our hope on everything that’s temporary. Let’s not place our hope in materials things, fame, and earthly success. It taught me to place my hope more on things that are eternal. It taught me to place my hope on God more. In my heart there is peace because I know Lolo placed his hope on God and trusted in Jesus’ salvation before he died. I am thankful that despite the pain, God is good because my grandfather died peacefully in his sleep. He is now free from pain, discomfort, sadness and infirmity.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38
What a comforting assurance. Just like my lolo, I am secure in this life and the life to come. I hope this post helps you out if you’re also going through a difficult time in your life. If you’ve learned something too from losing someone and would like to add more, please let me know through commenting below.