There is no doubt that aging involves loss. I have referenced processing loss as one of the essential ingredients to growing old gracefully. But how do we know when something is gone?
There is, of course, the loss that cannot be ultimately denied such as the physical death of a loved one. Here the grieving process will protect by cushioning the impact with stages that lead to reality. When we first hear the news we know it cannot be true, but as time goes on, we realize that it indeed is true.
But there are other losses that have less tangible markers. It may be the loss of marital intimacy, as one spouse, in the riptide of dementia, is becoming a stranger. It may be the loss of being your own home repairman as reaching high produces pain and lifting heavy is something you promise yourself you will not try again. It may be as simple as not being able to open the sealed bag in a box of cereal without reaching for a scissors.
It may be the loss of being recognized as a leader in your area of work. Someone else is now in the spotlight. There is a new experience of insecurity as you seek to get in step with the drumbeat of new leadership.
It may be an eroding of confidence that God will work in the lives of your children in the way you have prescribed for Him.
Whatever the loss, how do we access the grace to be diminished? Do we need to start by recognizing that the thing we are clinging to is gone?
I look forward to your comments.