I’m reading this amazing book about grief. I have learned quiet a bit. I have made some new connections and have a better understanding of my own grief.
A few years ago, I asked a client how she was doing (knowing she just lost her job and was putting one foot on front of the other to get by) but I really wanted to know because I enjoyed working with her. She said ‘I don’t complain because I was always told, ‘I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”
This for sure gives an picture of empathy and to be grateful for what you have because someone always has it worse.
I hadn’t thought much about that quote after my conversation other than it was a good perspective. Until I read it in the book and it created a new point of view for me.
I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.
It implies that someone’s pain or hurt is more than another. That I shouldn’t cry because I have no shoes because someone else has it worse than I do. It also implies comparison of pain and hurt. That my pain is less than.
Grieving the loss on someone (although it can be many other things besides a person) is personal.
The relationship I had with my mother, for example, was different than the relationship my mother had with my each of my siblings. The pain I feel, is the pain I feel and the level of pain they feel, is the pain they feel.
And the pain that woman feels who lost their daughter that same day. That woman’s pain doesn’t make my pain any less.
And while it’s easy to look at both situations and say that mother who lost her daughter pain is worse than me the daughter who lost my mother. But is it? And really who cares, why are we comparing??? Both of these women are hurting and that’s the point. Both women lost someone they love, let’s meet them where they are and love them.
Let’s stop comparing pain. Let’s stop trying to fix each other by saying things like time heals because the truth is time doesn’t heal. It’s a big fat lie. Time only means it’s been longer that I’ve been in pain. Longer that I’ve missed my mom.
Not remembering until I saw it the other day and I was actually stunned to read it but I wrote on my mom’s memorial online…mom, I don’t know how to be here without you. This was just days after she died. And you know what I wrote last March on the 9th anniversary of her passing….mom, I don’t know how to be here without you. So time has not healed the pain I feel.
So yeah, I cried because I had no shoes. And I will cry for my friend who has no feet too.
My journey to serenity continues…