When I was in fourth grade, I got glasses. On the whole drive home, I remember exclaiming to my mom how clear everything looked! It was a life-changing experience.
Losing Joseph did something similar to me. I feel like Before Joseph, I saw others’ grief in a very blurry, indistinguishable way. I could make out the general gist, but not the specifics. Now I can see grief much more clearly.
Something that surprised me was how specific and yet general grief is. Basically, it’s an intense feeling of loss. That can come from so many different things! Here are a few I thought of.
And yet, sometimes we think that some things don’t justify grief. We tell ourselves to get over it and move on, rather than give ourselves the time to grieve. And when we do that, we end up doing the same thing to others.
Here’s my message for today: Grief is grief. Loss is loss.
Comparison gets us nowhere. Listening with compassion does.
We can listen with compassion when someone tells us how they lost their job and how much it hurt.
We can listen with compassion when our children tell us how they miss their old teacher and class.
We can especially listen with compassion when you feel yourself saying, “This hurts. This is hard!”
Don’t discount your grief or others’. We’re all just trying to muddle through this together, and I’ll bet that if you listen, you’ll find that you have a lot more in common than you thought.
I have a friend who recently lost a job. As she told me about it, I was able to listen with an open heart, and I was surprised at how much her grief mirrored mine. Nightmares, flashbacks, discouragement, and deep loss were all things I could relate to.
So listen! With compassion! You’ll be surprised at how much you can see.