Of loss, and moving on

Losing something you hold dear is not destiny, or bad luck, or something to do with a God, something that is beyond your control.

The loss being discussed here is not about losing because of something you did, but for no apparent reason, for no fault on your part. Such loss makes us question the futility of life, the existence of a just God, questions that are more rhetoric than introspective. These questions, like all rhetorics sound good when it doesn’t concern us, when it does they end up in making us wallow in self-pity. We are told that loss is arbitrary, just like life is and we must look at the bright side – be thankful of what we still have, be thankful for being alive and the infinite choices we still have. Being rationalists, that we are or raised to be so, we take such advice with the same hopelessness with which we were dealing with our loss.

The natural tendency of rationalists is to look for a theory of cause and effect, a search that inexorably leads to distress. Rationalists lack the facilities for subscribing to faith, they continue to seek answers no matter what they are told to imbibe by the wise. This enquiry either leads to frustration or to the one answer which offers no solace. The feeling of sense of loss, we realize, is conceived in our feeling of the sense of possession. Possessions are never involuntary, you need to be very much in control to claim something to be yours, attachment is always a conscious choice. The problem arises due to the anachronism of these two events, making us question if there is a free will after all. If it exists then it must play a part when we are distraught. One might argue that it does, manifested in the way we deal with loss, the way we stretch the mourning only so far. The inertia of life makes us move on towards further acquisitions and the imminent losses.

Having said that, one would question why we must indulge in the doomed affair in the first place. Can we not live without a sense of possession, thereby eliminating the concept of loss. Alternatively, if we do indulge why do we get sympathy on our losses, an act that looks humane on the surface but inevitably acts to aggravate the problem at hand. The most relevant question however is still the one we started with – is there something like destiny, bad luck or God that we can continue to rely on, to put the blame so we can keep on making sense of our lives. The only solicitous thought I have on this topic is that life may not seem to offer the answers to these questions, but it is because at the moments we are close to the answers, we are prodded to move on.