An Open Letter to Anyone Experiencing an Unexpected Loss

Every loss is a tough one. Whether it were a grandparent, a parent, a sibling, a child or a friend. They don’t get easier with each loss,  and no one’s loss is any more significant than anyone else’s. But there is no loss quite like the ones that we never expected.  The times that we didn’t have the chance to say goodbye, because it never even crossed our mind that we would never say “hello” again. What are we supposed to do? Make huge grand gestures every time a loved one leaves the room because it may be our last chance?

A woman that I work with lost her son this weekend. She and her family are very close friends of my in-laws. I know what she can expect now, I know how they feel. I know that she will be hearing a lot of, “I’m sorry”; “How can we help?”; “I can’t even imagine”.  But I can imagine. My family suffered the same loss just 8 years ago.

These unexpected losses leave holes that can never be filled with anything other than questions. Most commonly,  “Could we have done something to have prevented this?” But the answer is rarely “yes”. I would say that 98% of the time there was nothing you could have done to save them.

You will never recover from your unexpected loss but the days may get easier. They may not, the darkness may consume you. But my hope for you is that you find strength in the love you still have, and that you are able to still have hope for your future. That you feel them with you every day, holding your hand. I hope that you allow yourself to walk down memory lane, and that the pain gets less and less because you get to see them there.

I like to think that the people we lose live among the stars;  helping the sky to provide us with light in the darkest of times.

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