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A damn good poem about loss

Everyone out there has experienced varying degrees of loss. But what the chronically ill have in common is the loss that comes with not being able to bound out of bed in the morning, not being able to work full-time or maybe even to work at all, the loss of a time when you weren’t reliant on medications to function, or the loss of the independence – maybe not being financial independent or maybe not even being able to get out of bed without assistance.

Loss can weigh you down if you don’t recognize it (perhaps you have heard that the stages of are the same as the stages of grieving – denial, anger, grief, bargaining, acceptance) and process it (I so recommend seeing a counselor on a regular basis.)

This poem talks about loss. I’ve liked it ever since it was assigned reading in my AP English Class. I like how she recognizes loss is no trivial thing, referencing a house, or worse yet, a person, but at the same time uses a light tone of voice, referring to loss as “an art. ” Hope you like it. Maybe you’ll want to hang it on your wall too.

The Art of Losing
by Elizabeth Bishop
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.

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