Comparing grief has never been a useful exercise for me. Each person’s worst thing is their own worst thing. My tragedy can’t lessen or lessened by anyone else’s experience.
I do realize my perspective is unusual, and I’m not going to tell anyone else that they are wrong. But here, in this space, all grief is welcome. You are welcome here, for any reason and even none at all.
Statistics are funny. I really wish someone would do a study on the chances for real, taking into account the multiple factors that contribute to fertility. I still don’t know if I’m an anomaly, or if I just got lucky. I don’t feel lucky.
Grief is awkward, and when we talk to the bereaved, we often want to say anything at all just to fill the void. Here are some things to avoid.
What I found most interesting in my interactions with all of them, was the amount of commonality in our experiences. In how much I could identify with experiences I had previously thought were just mine.
Humans are hardwired to find points of comparison. It’s how we build community. It makes us feel less alone. In some cases, though, comparison feels minimizing. This is especially the case in loss.. Here are 2 alternatives to the phrase, “I know how you feel”
We are all living in uncertainty. We are all scared. We are all doing the very best we can. And you have every right to your feelings, even if they seem silly.
Life is full of choices, and we aren’t required to all choose the same way. It can still be hard sometimes, to lose the option of choice. This is still grief.
If you ask a widow about the worst kind of grief, they are going to say it’s losing a spouse. If you ask a bereaved parent about the worst kind of grief, they are going to say it’s losing a child. And they are both correct. Grief is not a competition.
I think we are all familiar with the golden rule, but one of the most powerful things I have ever heard was to follow the platinum rule: treat people how THEY prefer to be treated. The words we use matter. And if you can’t say something kind, or supportive, maybe don’t say anything, at all.