The Griever’s Game: My Loss is Worse than Your Loss; a Guest Post by Mary Lee Robinson

Annah ElizabethGuest Post, Loss, Grief, and Healing, MarriageLeave a Comment

Journeyer, do I have some exciting news for you! Today I’m participating in a blog swap! At the bottom of this post you’ll find the link to my piece “Why You Feel Alone,” but first I bring to you a wonderful woman I met at last year’s National Grief and Hope Convention.
For those of you who are familiar with my journey from loss, through grief, and into healing, you know that one of the first things I realized on my journey is how we compare ourselves to one another. We often tell ourselves that someone else can heal because they have better financial resources, doctors, friends, family, a better education… The Five Facets Philosophy on Healing evolved from one simple truth: Though our resources look differently on each of us and work differently within each of us, we are all born with the same universal resources, assets I call The Five Facets. We are each born with an ability to learn (Academic Facet), and ability to feel emotion (Emotional Facet), we are each born in a physical body and into a physical environment (Physical Facet), and we are each born with a spirit (Spiritual Facet.)
 Today, Journeyer, I’m honored and excited to have Mary Lee Robinson from The Widow or Widower Next Door here to share a few thoughts on the very subject of comparison. Mary Lee offers examples of some of the language we use to compare our losses and reminds us that, though each loss is different, in the end, there is no competition in loss…
The Griever’s Game: My Loss is Worse than Your Loss
by Mary Lee Robinson
I run a couple of groups for widows and widowers. In a couple of different venues I can often spot the “newbies” by the statements they make like:
  • “But you don’t understand, I just lost my husband!” Forgetting, of course, that they are in a room full of people who have lost a mate
  • “At least your loved one died suddenly!”
  • “At least you had your husband with you when she became ill. You had plenty of time to say goodbye.”
  • “But you have plenty of friends!”
  • “Of course, your wife didn’t suffer.” (How would anyone know that?)
  • “Thankfully, you didn’t have children.”
  • “You’re so lucky! You’re a strong person!”

You get the idea. I assure you, no one who has lost someone very dear feels lucky, especially luckier than you. Those of us who lost someone suddenly often do have a little more trouble adjusting to our new reality. Why wouldn’t we?  All the same, I can’t imagine anything more excruciating than watching the person who holds your heart grow weaker daily, suffer more hourly, become frail with illness weekly.  All loss is awful. Comparisons don’t make them easier.

How many of us are guilty of these? Could we have handled the situation better, more kindly? What might be a better way?

All too often grievers try to play the Griever’s Game, a form of one-ups-man-ship with each other. If you’ve done it, did it make you feel better? Did it make the other griever feel better? Remember the griever’s law: “I’m sorry” is a complete sentence.

It should be a rule; never compare your loss to someone else’s. Loss comes in many forms, too. Cancer and all manner of serious illness, job loss, loss of anything that is central to your universe is hard.

Playing the Griever’s Game serves no one. My loss is my loss and your loss is yours, and no two are alike, and no loss is easy….or easier. Don’t be a player.


Mary Lee Robinson PhotoMary Lee Robinson is a certified grief coach, speaker and, organizer of social clubs for widows & widowers, and author of The Widow or Widower Next Door and has co-authored or contributed to Grief Diaries: Loss of a Spouse; Grief Diaries: Loss of a Parent; and Grief Diaries: Help for the Newly Bereaved.  Several other collaborative books are also in the works. Mary Lee loves to interact with other widows and widowers and can be found at:, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter at The Widow or Widower Next Door. All of her books are available for sale at The Grief Toolbox or from at

Thanks for stopping by, Journeyer! May these simple messages help you remember that we are neighbors in grief and allies in healing, and together we can heal a world of hurt. Here’s the link to Mary Lee’s post, where you’ll find my article, “Why You Feel Alone.” 

If you’re new to our site, please join our neighborhood! Sign up for our monthly newsletter and join us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and on LinkedIn.

Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,

Annah Elizabeth Signature

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.