Loss sensitizes us. It can make more kind and compassionate. We can look back and wish we knew then what we know now.
From the Grieving Heart:
I’ve been thinking more about my responses in the past when I encountered those who were grieving. I feel sad about my lack of compassion. I didn't know. I couldn't have known.
Until I lost you, I had no idea what this kind of pain was like. I thought I could imagine a bit, and maybe put myself in others' shoes. Now, I know such thinking is arrogant. How could I know without having been there?
When others lost loved ones, I was sympathetic for a while. But honestly, I expected them to be back to normal quickly. And I expected them to be the same people they were before.
Losing you has broken my heart. Now, I can recognize other broken hearts. Loss and grief have made life more real and each day more important. For these things, I'm grateful.
There are many grieving hearts out there, more than I could ever know.
Until loss hits, most are quick to judge...
Until we encounter significant loss, we tend to be quick to judge. We march along our daily routine, comparing ourselves with others. We always come out ahead or short. We evaluate others and ourselves. Above all, we avoid being uncomfortable. Loss, grief, and the accompanying emotions can be unnerving.
Now that we know loss, our hearts are more sensitive. We know what brokenness and the loneliness of loss feel like. We can now empathize as well as sympathize. We can bring comfort to other grieving hearts because we know grief.
Some of us might like our alone time, but no one enjoys feeling alone. We're wired for relationship and hunger for connection more than most of us realize. Grief might separate us from some people we've known, but it can also connect us to others. These new connections can be deep and meaningful.
Grieving is hard, exhausting work. Every day can be a battle. We need comrades for this fight -- people we can trust and count on. We can be those people for other grieving hearts, if we're willing. We can be comforters, even while hurting. And this can bring a new sense of meaning to our pain and suffering.
We're in this together, and we need each other -- badly.
Affirmation: Even though I'm hurting, I can comfort others. My pain has purpose.
Adapted from the USA Best Book Award Winner, Comfort for Grieving Hearts: Hope and Encouragement for Times of Loss. Watch the book video here.