The art of coping…


The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop

Dealing with loss is not easy. But it is inevitable. Everything in life in transient, mostly momentary, much like we are, in the scheme of things. But we don’t learn this in school, nor does anyone teach us this.

We are taught instead, to focus on gain – knowledge, wealth, people…while it is good to focus on the positive side of things, dealing with pain and grief is as important, if not more. Nobody ever died after being happy about everything, but loss is usually quite hard to bear – a human tendency.

And it is easier to write about it and speak about it, than to actually go through it. Life throws us many curveballs, and we dodge most of them, and get caught out in some. It’s ok. That is the nature of life now isn’t it?

Writing is a good medium – to help cope with loss. However small, or big. Learning to bear smaller losses helps train one for the biggies. So when you feel sad about something you lost, or someone who went away (not necessarily died), write about it. It helps put your thoughts in a flow, and you begin to feel better, since it isn’t all bottled up inside you anymore.

Try writing at least once a week. Just about anything. And don’t write with an intention that it should be good enough for someone to read.

Write instead, for yourself. You may also not read it immediately, but that is not the point anyway.

Try it and tell me what you think!