Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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LossLoss is what we call it when a great person dies. This person could have been President of the United States, a teacher at your school, one of your relatives, or your best friend. You may not have had a personal relationship with this person, but you at least usually know their name. When Princess Diana died it was a loss to a lot of people. Not just people over in England, people here in the United States were very upset by her death also. She was an icon in today's culture and had an impact on many people's lives. People who are in the public eye who die, or have something tragic happen to them, is a loss to the public. Not as much as when a close friend dies, that is really a loss to someone. I had a close friend that died in a car accident not too long ago, and it was a major loss to everyone who knew her, even to the people who were not friends with her, because we were in a small group, so the loss was more of a shock than if it had been someone who we all didn't know as well.

Loss can cause all kinds of emotions. Anger, Depression, Sadness, and sometimes joy, depending on what was lost. If you had a disease like cancer, and you had gone through treatment and it was gone, it was lost not to be found again, then you could be happy for the loss of your cancer. But almost always the loss of something is not a happy time. Mostly people are upset, or angry, or can get severely depressed. These are all emotions that came from the shock of what you lost. People will weep for days on end, and not be able to eat, these things cause physical changes in you, not just emotional. So not only can loss change you emotionally, but physically too. Sometimes this can cause people to get very sick, and then people are afraid of losing them, and the cycle can start all over again. Loss doesn't seem like a word that could have this much power, but it has more power over us than we could ever imagine.

The picture of Kim Phuc on pages 162 and 163 shows loss. These kids have lost their parents and not only are they scared and have no idea what to do, they have to deal with the loss of their family. Losing a parent is a hard thing that I am glad I have never had to go through. For these kids to have lost both of their parents in this way, is a very sad and disturbing thing. I think that they would be haunted by this experience their whole life. It would be a very hard thing to live with. And since they lost their parents, they will never know what it is like to grow up with your whole family, and that is a big loss. I don't know what I would do if I lost any of my family. I know that it would cause me great pain and anguish, and I would be very upset and probably angry too. All the emotions that play into loss would come into play and it would be a very bad thing. No one should have to go through things like this. Loss can cause such big things to happen and it's all from one little four letter word, which is very hard to imagine.

My roommate lost her father a few years ago and I know that was a great loss for her. She would probably change how it all turned out if she could, but she knows that if she did that, then her life would not be the same as it is today, and sometimes you don't want to trade things that you have now, for things that you could have had. My great grandparents both died recently and it was such a loss for my whole family. All the people who were related to the both of them were very upset by their deaths. They had grown to be very old and had wonderful lives, but will be greatly missed, because they made such an impact on our lives. When they died, it truly was a loss to the community where they lived and to our entire family. There were so many people at both of the funerals that the church couldn't even hold them all, and it wasn't a big town and was a big church. They taught me so much and I was a loss when they both left this earth.