A few years ago, I sang with a few groups, including a community choir and a Madrigal production. But I really enjoyed being part of a small ensemble. It was a talented group of 6-8 singers, and we performed mostly at churches, had a few concerts, and were asked to be part of a few events. It was challenging and special to be part of this group.

Then life happens and people move away. Eventually the group disbanded and suddenly I wasn’t singing anywhere. It was a loss and I miss singing.

As I’ve aged, there have been other losses. Like the ability to get off the floor easily after playing games with the grandkids. I’ve lost a couple of body parts through surgery. My hearing loss has increased – especially, it seems, in the speaking tones of my wife. At one time an eye doctor said that I had “pilot eyes” because I could see so clearly at a distance, now I have bifocals. I can’t come up with names as quickly. While I still bike regularly, I’ve lost the ability to run or play sports for extended periods of time. Loss is part of aging, but it’s still a loss.

The hardest loss is people loss. We’ve had friends and family move away that we miss. We’ve had new relationships and lost a few. We’ve had tragic and unexpected losses of people we know and care about. I’ve lost a best friend and now my mom, loss that’s hard to put into words.

Mom’s death was not unexpected. She just turned 90 and her health was in decline. Over the past year or so, her dementia had also increased. There were times she would remember amazing details and times she’d ask the same question ten times.

She gave us some amazing gifts in her final days. Most of the time she would just want to sleep, but when people important to her would visit, she’d engage, ask questions, was grateful for each of us, and expressed her love for us. Incredible gifts through loss.

I can still sing in the shower. I can still laugh when playing games on the floor. Most of my other body parts function. I can still hear and see and smell and touch wonder in our world. I wasn’t that good at basketball anyway. I can remember and accept the gifts that come through people, even the hard ones that come through loss.

10 thoughts on “Loss

  1. A great woman, mentor to many and great wife, mom and friend… you have my/our deepest sympathy Bruce and family!

    Still remember a class she and Boyd taught at Mitchell School of Christian Ministry a thousand years ago now… changed my life and my attitude about preaching the word even if it isn’t popular! Blessings, grins and grace, Rick (and Becky)

  2. Oh no, Bruce. Your mom was such a sweet lady. My family just adored your folks. Prayers to you and your family.

  3. A beautiful life lived. She will be missed. Thinking of you all and praying for peace in your hearts with such a loss.

  4. Wonderful reflection. You haven’t lost being able to articulate what we all feel, and make us feel part of it thru you or with you.
    That is a special gift.

  5. Beautiful words. Many can relate! We loved your mom, Bruce, even though we didn’t know her well. We probably interacted twice – once when your parents opened their home and church to our mission trip when I was chaperoning a middle school group from our church in Oshkosh. The second time? – a thousand years later, when I answered my call to Plankinton and White Lake in 2017, and Boyd and Evelyn beat the moving van to the parsonage to welcome us to South Dakota and to ministry. We had ice cream and laughed and I’ll never forget the hospitality. It’s hard to lose those you love. Prayers for you and your family, Bruce.

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