Is there a hierarchy to grief?
I’ve asked myself this question on more than one occasion.
I’ve been told many times that a death by suicide is different, that it’s somehow worse. I never really understood why.
Is my experience any worse or better than someone that has lost a loved one to a horrific accident?
Why are some deaths considered “the worst,” and some deaths seemingly don’t carry the same weight when compared to another. Why is it that a death of a child seemingly trumps the death of an elderly parent? Or when a devastating loss to a natural disaster is worse than losing everything to a broken relationship?
Who is to judge? And is it really a competition anyone wants to win?
There is no hierarchy and there is no “worst” pain. Every one of us has our own experience that is uniquely ours. Yours is yours and mine is mine.
We would not compare happiness to one another, so why do we feel entitled to hurt more because of our circumstances?
Let’s take off the judgemental grieving goggles and start looking at the healing process.
When we carry around the notion that we cannot feel better because no one will ever understand the pain that we are going through, it can be very isolating. Just as no one understand your pain, no one exactly understands your joy.
Why? It simple. It is not their experience, it is yours.
Grief that goes unhealed is raw and unrelenting.
The burden of carrying grief around with you because you believe you cannot heal it, you shouldn’t heal it or it’s all you have left...this is the worst grief.
There are no winners. You can heal from your pain and maybe even help others in the process.
And the first step is to put down the grief trophy.