Not everyone has a major event in their life that causes grief- thank goodness. I didn’t even recognize how much mourning I had done over the years until I studied grief. Yes, I did have a major event that caused heartache and luckily while trying to move forward I studied despair. I found out I have mourned a bunch of losses in my life, as I am sure everyone has.
I had the heartbreak of losing a child in pregnancy. I agonized over my previous husband losing his business, then our financial security and moving from our dream home. I yearned for the days when all of our kids were little and safely in our home all the time. We ached over the loss of health. Where once I was running up and down the stairs in my home, now I was crawling to get my baby from her crib all from the extreme pain of arthritis. My husband was diabetic. Oh, how I wished I could take that from him- even if one day a week if I could eat well, exercise, prick my finger 10 times and take a bunch of shots so he wouldn’t have to. And I even mourned the loss of our marriage over time as it slowly unraveled. We cried when our grandparents passed away.We struggled when we lost pets and even selling our favorite minivan.
I don’t know that grieving all of those “smaller” losses made it easier to grieve my husband’s death, but I do know it prepared my heart. I knew that my heart would keep beating, and unbelievably would heal once again. I will always mourn his death- that won’t go away, but the understanding does come and kindness for myself and others becomes stronger. I’m sure there will be many more things to grieve, but I don’t fear that. I know loss is a part of this life and I look for the good to come out of situations. Like my mom said, if I look for the good, I will find it.
So we have all felt loss and sadness in our lives and that’s what makes us compassionate and understanding when we hear of someone else grieving. When my husband died, people would come up to me and say they understood how I felt because their mother-in-law had passed away or their dog. I could understand that- they knew a great feeling of loss in their life. I have learned that we can’t compare losses. I think that the loss of my husband, which was unbelievably devastating to the core, could be understood by someone who had lost their pet. That pet could have been this person’s life- meant everything to them and was always there for them. When people would tell me they knew what it felt like, I would say, “You really know what loss is.” And I believe they do.
One more time, this shows me how important it is to see that everyone has a different perspective. Everybody has different life experiences, unique ways for grieving and a different path. Those experiences aren’t here so we can compare ourselves to others, I feel they are here so we can find deeper love and compassion. Nobody needs to be a widow to have compassion for a widow, or to have lost a business to feel for someone who has lost a business or a marriage. etc. That’s a good thing because none of us would have compassion for anyone else because our lives and feelings are completely different and none of us are walking an identical path.