Please Don’t Compare Your Grief to Mine

Don't Compare Your Grief to Mine
This photo was taken not far from my home whilst I was waiting in vain to see the sun rise.
There were far too many clouds that day. But I think it’s so beautiful anyways.

Did you ever realise this? I never did until Finley died. I think it must be because losing a child is just too horrible to comprehend. Too disturbing to have a single word describe it.
I have had people compare all sorts of losses that they’ve experienced to Finley dying: spouses, parents, and even pets and going through divorce! I must admit that I have nothing to compare this grief to, because other than my marching band director (who was a huge role model to me) dying when I was 15, I’ve never experienced a major loss in my life. But I also think that there is nothing to gain by comparing your grief to somebody else’s. By comparing a loss, you are minimizing what somebody is experiencing. I never expected that the first loss I would encounter would be my son dying. I never anticipated that I would ever feel this amount of pain in a lifetime, or that I could carry on living with a broken heart.
I genuinely think though, that losing a child is different that any other type of loss that you can face in life. You always anticipate that your parents will die before you, you know that between you and your spouse/partner that one will likely outlive the other. Adults get to live life and discover who they are, you get to have so many memories of them. A parent never expects to have to bury their child, because it goes against nature. It goes against the way we perceive life. And with all of the science and technology now, it seems so unfair that people should die so young.
Your child actually has your blood running through their veins. As a mother, you carried that child, and felt it move within you. You give birth to that child, and your life changes when you do. For that child to die is literally like having half of your heart, half of yourself die.
Every single hope you have and every single plan you make revolves around having your children in your life. When your child dies, you don’t just lose your child, you lose your future.
So please, unless you have lost a child yourself, don’t pretend to understand how it feels. Don’t try to minimize what I am going through. I am not trying to diminish anybody else’s grief by writing this post, so please don’t take that as the intention. I just hope that it will help others to understand that it does not help when they diminish mine.

6 thoughts on “Please Don’t Compare Your Grief to Mine

  1. Oh so true. Nothing compares. And, in fact every loss is different. I’ve lost all my grandparents, my father, a friend was I just a kid and my daughter. My mother is a widow. My life has been touched by every loss. None of them the same. I don’t like to say one is worse than an another, but the pain of losing a child for me was just beyond compare. (((big hugs)))

  2. Everything you said is so true… It really bothers me when other people compare their losses to mine, like they expect me to feel better because they lost a grandparent or friend. Thank you for sharing the Jodi Picoult quote… I actually read that book awhile ago, but completely forgot about that line.

  3. Word.

  4. I remember people coming to see me and saying stupid things like: “oh well you know…. so and so… well she lost har baby a few days after it was born…. just think if you’d gone through that”. Yeah just think….. Aren’t I LUCKY!

    I’m pretty sure that some people…. (most of them) can’t relate do babyloss…. they need something to say…. because they think that silence is too scary.

    big hug

    Maria
    xxxxx

  5. I’ve learned that it just isn’t fair in any situation to try and compare grief. A parent dies, a spouse, a dog, a child… even within the same type of loss you can’t possibly understand the way one individual will take it. And there is no right or wrong way to feel, there is just the way you feel. You and I can relate in that we have both experienced a horrific loss, but there is just no reason to try and compare. The best we can do for each other (for ourselves and for others who experience loss) is to listen and acknowledge each other’s experience. No words will ever make it right, bring back our babies. But we can honor the lives of our beloved little ones by living the best life we can, today.

  6. Exactly how I feel today. Thank you for writing this lovely mamma xxxx

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