It has been almost two months now since my mother passed away. During this time, I have experienced an immense outpouring of love and support from family, friends and acquaintances. Many, have also offered their suggestions and advice for dealing with my grief.
I have discovered that everyone grieves differently. For me, grief has been like a sad melody that has played in the background of all my other thoughts. It hasn’t been big and bold out in the forefront of everything. It has just seemed to color everything else that I have done or everything else that has happened to me.
Even though I seemed to feel fine on the surface, I suddenly began to have trouble coping with normal day to day problems. Everyday decisions and choices became more difficult. I even began to have minor panic attacks and issues with anxiety.
As I struggled with problems that would normally be only minor annoyances, it occurred to me that our ability to cope with the problems of our lives can be different from time to time and from person to person. We cannot judge the severity of the problems or trials of others or their ability to cope with them.
I remember as a child feeling completely heartbroken due to some minor childhood catastrophe and being told by adults that my problem was silly or insignificant. I understand now, that to them, my childhood problems must have seemed very trivial, but to me, at the time, they were huge.
I think, at times we are all like little children. The severity of our problems is dependent upon our ability to cope with them at the time. We want, we need, our thoughts, our feelings, our worries, our concerns to be important, to be valued.
I will try to remember this past few weeks and the difficulty I have had coping with even minor problems. I will try to avoid the tendency to compare the trials of others with my own or to minimize or discount them. I will try to be more compassionate, more empathetic.
Instead of trying to judge the severity of my brothers’ and sisters’ burdens, I will try to help them carry them…