- “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 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: www.maryleerobinson.com, Facebook,www.facebook.com/thewidoworwidowernextdoor/ Pinterest and Twitter at The Widow or Widower Next Door. All of her books are available for sale at The Grief Toolbox or from Amazon.com at www.amazon.com/Mary-Lee-Robinson/e/B00OX6LZX
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.”
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Until we meet again, yours in hope, healing, and happiness,