There Is No Loss Without Grief

The first time I remember being blown away by a song was in 1976.  I was standing in line at the Red Rooster buying a bag of chips for 15 cents when “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann’s Earth Band came on.  The musical ideas in that song were revolutionary to me; my world was forever changed (still a killer song btw).  That’s when I began making regular treks down to Little John’s Records and pouring my paper route money into my album collection.  About $3 per as I recall.

Then the technological wonder called the 8 track was released.  An invention of staggering genius that offered:

  • Plenty of bulk for inefficient storage
  • The inability to select individual songs
  • The guarantee that four times per album the listener would experience a loud 3 second clicking noise in the middle of a song while the player changed to a new track

Not too long after, my dad came home with a miracle machine that could be inserted into the 8 track to adapt it to play cassette tapes.  Technology was advancing at a breakneck pace.  I was enchanted and immediately began collecting cassettes.

Then I went to college, and realizing that the future was in CDs, traded my sizable record collection for 5 magic beans and began collecting CDs in earnest.

Then came iTunes.  I griped and complained about buying air, but finally became a reluctant convert.  This week Apple announced plans to kill off iTunes so people will buy streaming music.  Sigh.

Some of us love change, but the majority of us don’t.  Especially when the change is serious and real and gets us in the pit of the stomach.   We lay awake ruminating over:

  • If only she didn’t leave me
  • If only he liked me back
  • If only she didn’t die
  • If only the kids weren’t struggling
  • If only the job had worked out
  • If only I didn’t disappoint everyone
  • If only my dreams hadn’t ended so badly

We all have these moments.  So I want to share four thoughts with you about change that I hope you’ll never forget:

  1. There is no growth without change: Can’t happen. Unless things change, you stay where you are.
  2. There is no change without loss: To move on to something else, you have to give something up. That’s a loss.  It might be the loss of a person, a job, or a relationship.  But it represents a new reality that has to be faced.
  3. There is no loss without grief: It comes unbidden. It doesn’t matter if we don’t want it; it’s there.
  4. There is no grief without pain: It’s a guarantee.  Change hurts.   Sometimes, a lot.  Sometimes we’re not sure how we can continue.

But, If you don’t let your grief out, you act it out.

So here are some simple ways you can let it out:

  • Name it, don’t bury it. Feel profoundly sad, it’s okay.  Grief is painful but it’s a healing mechanism.
  • Shed tears over it. That’s okay too.  Churchill was a great crier, and also a very tough nut and the savior of the modern world.
  • Talk to someone about it. A friend.  If it’s significant, maybe a professional who knows more about things of that nature.

If you don’t deal with it, you get stuck at that point, and never move on.

So now it would appear that things in my music life have come full circle.  Last week my vinyl-collecting daughter urged me to begin collecting records again.  I wonder if Little John’s is still in business?

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