The Gift Of Loss


It was over 15 years ago when, at the funeral of my Mother, my Father addressed across the pulpit the subject of the ‘gift of loss.’ When he sat down, the presiding authority leaned over and whispered, “They didn’t get it.” What did my Father mean by the phrase, “the gift of loss,” and why did the people in attendance not seem to ‘get it?”

Recently I read the story of a women who lost three son’s by various means. She said:

“After experiencing the deaths of three sons, I have continued to search for understanding through scripture reading and prayer. Through the loss of these sons, I have learned to appreciate the gift of the Resurrection and the promise of eternal life in a personal way.”

For this grieving mother, the ‘gift of loss’ taught her to appreciate the resurrection and the promises of eternal life more deeply. Many of us are also the recipients of the ‘gift of loss.” Often we are unaware of the great blessings that come with those losses. When temporary challenges enter our lives we may, for the first time, discover a gift which has hitherto never been recognized. For instance, many physical injuries end up being a ‘gift of loss’ as we learn that just being able to walk, or talk, or jump, or run are great blessings that we take for granted. When permanent spiritual, physical, or mental challenges are presented, we can grow and learn in positive ways if we so choose. Often the ‘gift of loss’ may we wrapped in pain, but it is the pain which teaches and enhances positive and Godly attributes that we need in order to become like our Savior.

My Father understood that the loss of my Mother was the beginning of a better appreciation of her life and their marriage, and also of a greater understanding of the important role that the Savior plays in giving us hope for the eternities as families.

Losing, in all its forms, is rarely enjoyable. But found within that loss is a valuable gift that is only made available to those who choose not only to see it, but willingly open it and then use it to bless their life. May we have the wisdom to not only accept the ‘gift of loss,’ but also the desire to embrace it!

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