Loss of Our Everyday Lives

Micro-Losses Can Feel Major


A favorite café where you love to work on projects, read the news, chat with strangers and the baristas, check out the bulletin board, meet up with friends (or meet new friends), enjoy a good coffee, or just look at the window.  The neighborhood café is a staple of many people’s lives.  And, without warning, it’s gone.


We’re all missing that places and people that were part of our daily lives, even peripherally. Compared to the big losses—death, jobs, financial security, education—the micro losses “should” feel relative insignificant.  But they’re not.   It might feel embarrassing acknowledge them out loud.


Imagine this exchange:


Person A: I lost my best friend.

Person B: I lost the guy who owns the falafel cart where I bought lunch every day. He’d kid me about my order—“extra hot sauce.”  He called me “Hot Sauce” and it always made me smile.


Person A: I lost my home.

Person B: I lost a little garden I walked to with my dog every day.  When the forsythia bloomed there, it meant that spring had come.


Person A: I miss my family.

Person B: I miss the security people in the lobby of my office building, who always asked how I was doing, or offered to loan me an umbrella when I had to dash out for a minute.


So many people and places are woven into your life, and you might not have registered how important they actually are. But even though the micro losses don’t dominate the headlines, they’re real. Its valid to feel sad about them.


If you’d known that you’d know what was coming,  you’d have given the falafel guy an extra $50.  You’d have taken a picture of the garden. You’d have given your cell number to the security staff and told them to check in to let you know they’re okay.


Humans evolved to live in small clans, and these people are part of your clan. They helped set your daily rhythm—now displaced.  Another loss.


It’s not forever.  When you miss them, imagine how tightly you’ll be hugging your falafel guy, the security staff, the barista. Having them back in your life will make those relationships even more significant—and you’ll realize that no person in your life is peripheral.