“How are you?” I asked happily the acquaintance I met by chance.
“Don’t you see?” she replied sadly. Although I hadn’t seen her for a long time, she seemed well-groomed and elegant, as always. “I am wearing black clothes, I lost my husband” she added, while a tear was hovering in the corner of her eye… The smile faded at once from my lips. “Ah! We don’t see people! We look at them, but we don’t see them!” I got angry with myself. “Everything takes its time,” I finally stuttered, “and the loss, the most.” She looked at me so intensely that I shuddered. “I’m not used to it,” she muttered… I left with my thought hooked on her last sentence, wondering “how is it possible?”
How is it possible? Since loss is interwoven with humans and stars from the very moment of our birth! With a cry, we come to life. With a lament for the safety of the nest that we forcibly abandon. But who can imagine staying there forever! Safe, but doomed to eternal immobility. Like some decommissioned boats I see rotting in secluded moorages. But these have, at least, travelled before retiring. They fulfilled their purpose, they lived! Immobility, on the contrary, resembles death and then, what is the reason for our existence! Since life is a long journey into the unknown, a perpetual movement, a change of level!
Unfortunately, humans are easily comfortable, easily contented, and easily let themselves loose. So comes the loss which forces us to move on. To redefine the meaning of our lives. We are in need of meaning in order to feel good and that meaning is defined by our choices. Anything we choose and bond with, anything we love or value, gives value to our lives. And when we lose it…, it hurts! Along with the pain comes the mourning, which signifies – nothing more or less than – our process of adapting to the new situation.
If we think about it thoroughly, we will discover that our lives are connected to a series of losses, that occur without our even realizing it. “The loss, big or small, is always a death,” they say, but is it really? Or we have limited ourselves to this perspective? Because the unknown – the new situation in which we are forced to move to – scares us. As we have learned to associate it with the possibility of insurmountable obstacles, rather than developing skills that can lead us to higher levels. Regrettably, we are used to thinking of loss only as an end, never as a beginning. We have not yet consolidated that nothing, nothing at all, is stable, unchanging, eternal. That there is nothing we can essentially control. So, what all remains is to enjoy everything offered to us, for as long as we are here…
Or else, we have to wonder, are we really mourning for what we lost, or for what we didn’t allow ourselves to live?
Article by Nouli Tsagaraki
© Nouli Tsagaraki
About the author
Nouli Tsagaraki is a short story writer and chronicler, as well as a poetess. Her articles have been published in various magazines & blogs, while she maintains a stable cooperation with the Greek-language newspaper of Canada “Evdomada Greek Weekly News” & the web page “authoring melodies”. She has two collections of short stories to her credit, “One of us” & “Fire & Hope”, while she has participated in several publications in order to support vulnerable social groups. Recently she was elected executive secretary of the Panhellenic Writers’ Union.