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Grim's Tales: There is one good thing that comes from experiencing loss

How we need others in hard times.

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Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.

I remember my mother, God bless her, quite often was not the most positive character. She regularly lamented that the older you get, the more people you have to say goodbye to.

I mean, it's true. But she shoehorned it into so many conversations.

If I had to guess, she was thinking about people she missed when she did so.

I guess since her death in 2015, I relate a lot of things back to my memory of her and her passing. So touché. It's hard not to do.

Loss is, of course, inevitable if you spend even a short time on this planet. My family was introduced to loss fairly early with the death of Grandpa Grimler, my dad's dad. I'm bad with time, but it was within my first 10 years of life.

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I remember being told about the Resurrection of Jesus and how he came back three days later and what that meant for Grandpa. Unfortunately, at such a young age, that meant I spent the next three days anxiously counting down until I could see him again. I don't remember how I reacted when I found out that wouldn't happen.

I think Grandma Grimler was next. For as young as our family was, my dad's parents were an older couple. They married and had kids late, so I think they were older than most grandparents.

As Mom predicted, as I got older the funerals were more frequent and more surprising. There have been people I grew up with and people I had classes with in college, family members, parents of friends.

I knew Mom was right when she said it got more common, but still it bears saying that she was right.

I'm not trying to be a downer bringing these things to light, but it's hard to come to my next point without bringing some of it up. Because loss stinks. It can haunt a person and alter their lives in so many ways.

But there is one tiny thing that we get out of loss that is good in the long run.

As I said, loss is inevitable. So, as we are experiencing it, so are those around us. Sometimes that gives us the ability to do what other people hopefully did for us. We can learn from our loss and we can help those we see going through it.

I realized this after a long, sleepless night recently following the death of someone I grew up with - the brother of a very important friend and his family, who are dear to me. I spent a lot of time thinking, "What can I do?"

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We as humans are social creatures and our brains are wired, whether we like it or not, for some form of socialization. As such, in hard times that socialization is a valuable tool without which our recovery would be less than smooth.

Socialization, and providing one another comfort, makes things better for the mourner and the community as a whole. After all, unmet mental health needs are a detriment not only to the individual, but society as a whole.

So I spent that night wondering, "What can I do?" And the truth of the matter is - not much. But what little I can do is thanks, in part, to what I, myself, have learned from loss.

I guess in the end, if we have to lose, then at least we learn something that can help others.

Travis Grimler may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Travis.

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Travis Grimler, PineandLakes Echo Journal Writer

Related Topics: FAITHFAMILY
Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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