Lesson 408 – Images of loss

There exist iconic images of loss that are so real, so earth-shakingly poignant, they make us feel like we’ve been punched in the gut. Who, among us, can look at a soldier’s pair of empty boots without feeling a deep and profound sorrow – the sense of loss represented, the death of an individual. A mother’s grief?

A flag flown at half-mast. On September 11th every time I saw our flag lowered in respect, I felt the aching unfairness of it all. The lives that were ended, the potential that was taken away in a heartbeat. The innocence shattered.

I remember watching President Kennedy’s funeral procession with my mother. I was very, very young at the time, hardly aware of my part in life, and yet I remember the horse with the backward boot. Such a strange image, such a perfect image for a nation who felt confused and stranded. Our President was no longer leading the way. He was gone.

Images like these are not intended to prolong our grief and make us constantly feel sorrow. Instead they are created to give us pause, to make us remember what it is we no longer have. To be grateful we were able to be a part of someone’s life whose pain at their loss we feel so deeply. It reminds us that we have been profoundly touched by another.

Thank God there exist images like these. They cut to the chase by making us reflect, helping us to cope. The important thing to remember, however, when you see one is not to dwell on what is gone but instead to move forward, always forward, carrying the loving spirit and the lessons learned behind that loss forever in your heart.

4 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Life Lessons, Personal, Teaching kids, The Family, The puppies

4 responses to “Lesson 408 – Images of loss

  1. Kristin

    Profund and simple Wendy – thank you – thinking of you all…

  2. Wendy: Lovely, thoughtful words.

  3. Beautiful word and touching image, Wendy. As you know, it’s especially poignant for me at this time.

  4. This calls to mind all the lost pets in my world and the tug at my heart and tear as I type, reminds me how much each animal was loved and of my sincere hope that they each knew it to the core of their being.
    My love of animals does not diminish my love of people (albeit some), in fact it makes it stronger. I learn about love and forgiveness and expressing those same sentiments from my animal companions. So sorry for your loss, your dog was lucky indeed tohave such a caring and thoughtful relationship with you..

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