Tag Archives: Death

What have you lost?



Whenever I appeared in my counselors office severely depressed he always asked me:  “What have you lost?”  It took me a long time before his answer made sense to me.

Since my father died in August 2010 I have been thinking about loss and grieving.  Even though we were estranged (to put it mildly) up till his death,  I still knew within my soul that my father loved me.  True,  his ways of showing me his love were outside the proper boundaries.  But still,  there was a tie of love that was permanently broken with his death.

Grief is the normal internal feeling one experiences in reaction to a loss, while bereavement is the state of having experienced that loss. Although people often suffer emotional pain in response to loss of anything that is very important to them (for example, a job, a friendship, one’s sense of safety, a home), grief usually refers to the loss of a loved one through death. Quote

My father’s death closed a chapter in my life that brought a sense of freedom.  Which created a lot of confusion and some guilt at first.

Later I remembered that for all those years I constantly juggled two longings in my life: the desire to be reconciled with my parents and the desire to be safe.  The problem was that I could not have both at the same time.  It was an either/or,  a tug of war that continued for 20 years until my father died,  since with his death the possibility of reconciliation has died too.

(My mother and brother are still alive,  but sadly it is not safe to even have a passive relationship.  In actual fact,  there is none.)

Since our family situation wasn’t even close to normal  (something I have only come to fully understand in the process of counseling) and we didn’t really have any relationship to speak of for about 20 years,  how do you grief this kind of loss?

It is even more complicated,  because I did not only lose my father. There are a multitude of other losses tied into our family life.  Some things were not only lost,  I never even had it in the first place.  I lost my innocence as a child,  I lost my childhood,  I lost a mother (who never bonded with me),  I lost a sister,  I lost a brother,  I lost extended family,  I lost safety, I lost hope…..

Sorrows cannot all be explained away in a life truly lived, grief and loss accumulate like possessions.   Stefan Kanfer 


That was the answer to the question my counselor used to ask me.  That is why I have spent such a big part of my life depressed.  And over time every depression grew worse.  And when you think it can’t get any worse… it still did.

When you feel hopeless,  every negative feeling is magnified.  You feel like you are in this eternal place of never-ending,  excruciating pain without any possible escape.  There is only one way out… suicide.

Suicide is not about wanting to die.  It is about escaping the pain.  About not being able to bear it for one day,  one hour,  one minute,  even one second longer.

I personally think that hell is a place where there is no hope whatsoever.

We have a saying in Dutch:  Hope gives life.

It is so freakin’,  totally,  absolutely true!

May you always have hope 🙂

PS  I welcome comments,  however,  this is a piece of my soul,  please handle with care! Thanks.


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