Who’s got the worst pain? After the loss of a loved one, no matter how they passed, or your relationship to them, it can make you question the circumstances around the death and who is suffering the most.
It’s important to understand the following …
· Long-term dying is not better or worse than sudden death—it is different.
· Losing an infant is not better or worse than mourning the death of a teenager—it is different.
· A widowers pain is not better or worse than the grief of bereaved parents—it is different.
· Death by homicide is neither easier nor harder than death by suicide—it is different.
Remember … Different doesn’t mean less or more.
A neighbor of mine lost her 25 year old son to suicide a few years ago. They held a private family service and I heard they were devastated and totally heart broken. I couldn’t imagine the pain they felt and given I didn’t know them all that well I simply avoided the subject on the few occasions we met afterwards.
On losing our new born baby this year, the same neighbor came to our door offering her condolences. Devastated with my own loss I said to her, that this was excruciatingly painful and I couldn’t possibly imagine her pain at losing a grown son.
She said to me “loss is loss, grief is grief. The situations may be different but the pain is no less or no more’.
This gave me the freedom to experience my loss for what it was to me. What a wise woman!