Loss of a loved one from your life can be difficult, hard to put it mildly.
From a perspective of ‘gain’ in a relative sense, I can say that loss and the grief that follows can be a wholly traumatic experience.
The tragedy of familial loss and bereavement is unfortunately common to all cultures and peoples. People deal with loss in different ways, and some cultures like the Amazonian peoples live and die within their communities, never have become individuals in the western sense, in their whole lives. Whereas many people in the western hemisphere may seem to have a heightened sense of the individual nature of a person, when they die this loss that I talk of can be harder to bear since, perhaps the individual can never be replaced in their respective community.
If one has the opportunity to discover death during their younger years or even perhaps during a formative period of their life, where they are likewise, very much part of an insular community, like the family for example. Then the impact of my ‘theory’ of individuality in loss, may become gainful to an extent for the individual grieving.
In ‘practice’ though, I personally have found that loss of a family member to death, is nearly impossible to bear, or justify in one’s/your’ mind. As a young man I lost my maternal grandfather to old age in 2003. The absolute shock of this event took my very long to reconcile in my mind. So I can’t foresee anyone like myself (at the time of his passing) coming to terms in a shorter period of time than I did.
So, the central point of this article is, to explain that I see loss and death particularly, as central to the formation of a mature individual within western society.
My story consists of my first main experience of real and genuine loss happening to me in my early twenties, perhaps at the beginning of the prime of my life.
Being a very introverted individual I spent a lot of time in my own company. While in recent years this has changed and I can certainly say that I feel much more conscious of the people and places around me than I did prior to this point of loss.
Becoming conscious of people’s mortality from direct experience, is a life-changing quality/skill. Having read about consciousness philosophy in particular and philosophy of mind in general, I think/believe that in a real way I became truly conscious in my life to the things around and outside of myself, whenever I truly experienced loss.
Loss can change over-time your entire being.