The metaphors are replete; the stories of human suffering, of the chasm which develops in one’s “heart”; of the emptiness driven by it; “loss” is the sudden absence of that — or of whom — we took the existence once for granted. Perhaps it can be an object; or even a place; of a home or town now destroyed and no longer the same.
Displacement can be a form of loss, and indeed, one which can result in misery, disorientation and alienation. Loss of a friend; of a family member; of years of taking it for granted that existence will continue today as it did yesterday, and the day before. The irony is that the absence of that very existence is the thing which reminds one of the former presence. Suddenly, you recall the pervasiveness of that former existence — “She used to always do X” or “He was always right over there”, etc.
Does time buffer the severity of present loss? Do the memories fade, the daily routines change and adapt to the sudden non-existence such that, over a period of months and years, such absence which is noticeable currently will dissipate with fading memories and getting used to that absence which was so profoundly pronounced?
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, “loss” is a familiar concept: For, to begin with, the loss of one’s health is a profound recognition of an absence of one’s former self; further, the realization that Federal OPM Disability Retirement is a necessary next step is to seek a replacement for the loss of one’s career.
All of those many years, the “job” was a central activity — meaningful, significant, relevant — then, preparing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management under FERS is the next step towards embracing the non-existence of that former self. The positive side of things, however, is that such a loss can be replaced by a future which prioritizes your health, and where the presence of a better tomorrow can fill that emptiness of yesterday’s loss.
Robert R. McGill
Lawyer exclusively representing Federal and Postal employees to secure their Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.