When my sister and I founded Grief Bites, and started our grief group, classes, and seminars, I don’t think either of us could have possibly been prepared for all we would see and hear.
With grief, people are at their rawest and most vulnerable. Tensions and emotions run very high and sometimes that has led to some colorful dialogue — especially in the setting of a grief group.
Anyone who has been going through grief for awhile knows and deeply understands that each grief experience is unique to the one who is going through it…you just can’t compare grief experiences…and grief is just plain messy.
Anyone who has attended an authentic grief group has definitely seen and heard it all.
Grief group participants will see people deeply heartbroken over a loved one’s death, as well as family members who celebrate the death of a loved one…especially if their loved one was suffering.
Some people deeply mourn the fact they had chosen to get married, and then there are singles who greatly wish to be married.
One couple, who seemed as though they had it all together and were deeply in love shared that they had grown in their love only after adultery had nearly destroyed their marriage…the marriage they were now enjoying was the result of many, many tears and a lot of hard work.
Looks can be deceiving when we make blind assumptions. And it can be easy to compare life and grief experiences. If we knew the facts about each other’s lives, we’d be more grateful we are living the one we are living.
I’ve listened to parents who were deeply hurting due to being severely mistreated by multiple children….as well as parents who were devastated they could only have one child…and others who would absolutely trade everything they own to have the ability to have a baby.
One time, I had two separate families tell me they were jealous of each other during grief group: one person (who had five children) was jealous that the other family frequently went on vacations since they are childless…and then the other family (who could go on multiple vacations) revealed that they travel to escape the pain of not having the big family they had always dreamed of. Each family had heartaches and each received a different blessing from God: one received children and the other, money.
The fact is, everybody is either:
- coming out of a grief experience
- in the middle of grief experience
- about to enter into a grief experience
We all have:
- shining moments in life
- fantastic memories
- “behind the scenes” heartaches
- major failures
- great accomplishments
- grief experiences nobody knows about
- blessings others may not have
It doesn’t make sense to compare ourselves to others, or compare our grief experiences or heartaches.
We are all different and our grief experiences — and blessings — are unique to each of us…even if we all go through similar ups and downs in life.
Each and every person who is going through a grief experience could present their case as to why their grief is greater, but wouldn’t it make more sense if we all simply chose to encourage and be there for one another? The greater the love, the greater the grief, and the more people encourage and empathize with one another, the more people have the ability to heal.
In His amazingly great wisdom, God said it best when He summed it all up:
Romans 12:15, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”
Once we understand that everybody is going through an uphill battle — or will be going through an uphill battle, it becomes so much easier to be a vessel of encouragement, love, and hope to everybody around us.
Nobody has a perfect life…and nobody has it “all together” or has everything figured out.
We’re all just kind of winging it and doing the very best we each can. Amen?
Continually learn as much as you can through each grief experience, gain wisdom and perspective with each teardrop, and never fall into comparing yourself with others and never compare your grief experiences or life.
We are all human and we each will process life, love, blessings, and grief differently. And that is totally okay!
Don’t judge others in life or grief…and do not fall into allowing others to judge your life or your grief.
It’s what we each choose to do with all of our blessings, our life and grief experiences that truly matters. Never waste any of these precious life experiences and learning experiences.
All have a deep purpose!
Gratitude, blessings, & healing,
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1. Grief Bites: Finding Treasure In Hardships: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/912-grief-bites-finding-treasure-in-hardships
2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
This is really good, Kim. I can certainly relate to lots of those emotions. What I wouldn’t give to talk with my grandmother who loved me more than anyone!!
Making grief seem accessible and able to talk about. Thank you x
Thank God we’re finally talking about this messy group of subjects with the knowledge there is another side to it. Thank you for sharing this.