Our culture is a death-denying culture. In general, we do not like to acknowledge, think about, or speak about death. Therefore, our grief also gets denied leaving grievers feeling empty, alone, and silenced. As a society, our grief gets compared, evaluated, and judged. It becomes a grueling battle between who has it worse. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not only grieving as individuals but also as a society. Cue the comparative suffering on a global scale. Comparative suffering happens when we evaluate our pain in relation to someone else. As a result, our burdens become heavier, our feelings get denied, and our deepest pain remains unspoken.
During this time it is important to recognize that your pain matters. Your grief matters. Your feelings matter. The next time you find yourself saying some version of “How can I be upset when…” recognize comparison has taken over your thinking. Practice dropping the comparison and picking up compassion for yourself and others instead. Our pain deserves to be present without being denied.
“Hurt is hurt, and every time we honor our own struggle and the struggles of others by responding with empathy and compassion, the healing that results affects all of us.”
-Brene Brown, Rising Strong
Until next week,
Director of Community Development & Grief Services.