I have had the privilege to work with many individuals who are experiencing loss or have experienced a loss through death, divorce, catastrophic injury and/or illness. I meet people every day whose heart has been shattered for one reason or another. I have family members very near and dear to me struggling to accept losses in their life. Not all the losses are a physical death; however, that does not negate their suffering. Loss in all forms brings sorrow, pain, questions, searching, and the big question… “Now what?”
What is interesting to me is that often when people share their story with me, they end it with, “It could have been worse.” And I ask, “Could it?” I understand the reason they do that. I’ve done it myself. When I hear other people’s stories, I think that no matter what I have been through in my life, their suffering has to be so much more… their loss is so much greater. And then I ask myself, “Is it?” Here is what I have come to learn and I share it daily with others, “You will always hear another person’s story that will take your breath away. But
remember, when your story happened to you, it took your breath away. What happened to you is no greater and no less painful than what has happened to other people.”
When events happen in life, regardless if it is a divorce, separation, a death, the ending of a relationship, a financial loss, or a fracture in a family… all of it is painful to the person going through it. What we can do is look at those other stories… the one’s that we think are more important or significant than ours…and use them as inspiration to encourage us to do the work we need to do. Instead of saying, it could have been worse, say… “At least I am not alone. Others have experienced loss too and I can gain strength from them because
they have walked where I am today. I am grateful to have heard their story.” Nobody’s story is more important than your own. Never diminish the sorrow you have been through, the strength and courage you gained, the heartbreak you felt and the healing you have done.