Losing Gracefully

The journey isn’t a fast ride down a froth filled river of cold water. There are hazards, but they approach in a more leisurely pace than submerged boulders or icebergs at sea. The dangers are seen and unseen but have to do with finding happiness.

Somewhere at the start of my journey a friend warned me how I could lose everything. Family, friends, community, work, the entire ball of wax. There are some poor souls who do go through Hell and can lose much of this. That was not my fate. Was that true because I chose my friends well, lived a good life, was lucky? I’m not sure. I have my loses.

There are different ways of losing. I spent time with a small group one evening and this one person kept complaining that their wife, who had passed some ten years before, had never accepted her as female. I thought it pitiable. To only keep her memory alive for a slight, and probably one she had little control over seemed unfortunate, and then there was the whole who does this hurt issue.

Everyone has losses. It’s inevitable.

I wondered at whether I’d keep my male friends. At first I thought yes given their reactions but I’m not so daft as to judge people by what they say alone. Intentions can be wonderful but actions tell. The truth is that no relationship of mine with a male friend has gone unchanged. It can be really hard to know what will happen, but then it isn’t only them wanting to remain friends with me.

How I’m treated is subtly different and attitudes that were sometimes ok before are offensive now. Social graces are of more import now than before and so situations that were ok are sometimes less enjoyable now. I couldn’t begin to guess what fraction of the men I’ve known, many for 30+ years, will become distant acquaintances over time. No straight rejections, just realignment.

What remains is to accept this with grace and dignity. Not all change is bad, not all losses need cause us great pain. New friends exist out there and can be found.


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