To be alive is to be constantly confronted by loss, and a large measure of who we are stems from our responses to it. When you’ve lost something you care about, how do you respond? How do you keep loss from hollowing you into a shell? Do you let it make you mean? Do you turn hard, or do you crumble and find yourself adrift? Do you count your scars, and if you do, do you revel in them or do you gently massage vitamin E into their silvery tissues? This month’s issue features four very different snapshots of loss and human response to it.