Saturday, May 21, 2011

Can You Actually "Recover" From A Loss?

“Recovery is a misleading and empty expectation. We recover from broken limbs, not amputations. Catastrophic loss by definition precludes recovery. It will transform us or destroy us, but it will never leave us the same. There is no going back to the past, which is gone forever, only going ahead to the future, which has yet to be discovered. Whatever the future is, it will, and must, include the pain of the past with it. Sorrow never entirely leaves the soul of those who have suffered a severe loss. If anything, it may keep going deeper” –A Grace Disguised (J. Sittser)

If you've missed the backstory of the book A Grace Disguised, click here and here to read about it. For my other posts in this series, click here and scroll down to the "loss" category. 

In many ways, I don't have much to say in this post, because I believe that the quote says the thing I want to say in a much more succinct and beautiful way. The thing with loss is that we never fully recover from it, and sometimes we act like we can. When we don't, we beat ourselves up. Or, on the other hand, we become angry when others around us don't recover completely from their loss. When you lose someone dear to you, it's like an amputation. When a limb is amputated, you learn to function again, and you can have a happy and successful life. However, your life won't ever be the same, you won't function in exactly the same way, and you will experience phantom pains. This is true with loss. Loss changes us deeply, we function in the world and view it differently, and we experience "phantom pains". You cannot recover from a loss, but you can learn to function once again, and you CAN have a good life once again. 


  1. I like that quote, thanks for posting it.

  2. This post is so relevant to me right now. I'm bookmarking it so I can keep looking back at it! I think too often we glaze over loss and think that we should be able to recover, when it's more about being rehabilitated than anything (if that makes any sense).

    Hope you are doing well! :)