When you think about grief what’s the first thing you think of? If you’re like most people you probably think about the feelings surrounding the death of a loved one.
From there you might think about death from suicide or losing a child.
As easy as it is for our society to separate loss events by type, we don’t do that. We don’t limit grief to only death either.
Because all grief is experienced at 100% and every story is unique.
Whether your heartache is caused by death, divorce, childhood abuse, moving, pet loss or anything else, you experience your feelings at 100%.
That’s why we’re adamant that there is no hierarchy of losses. When you compare one loss to another, it robs dignity for the person who’s made to feel as if their loss isn’t as big.
Let’s say you have 3 grievers in a room. The first person’s mom died, the second person lost their mom and dad, and the third person had their mom, dad and child die. Should the amount of loss the third person experienced negate the grief of the first person? Absolutely not.
Grief is based on the unique relationship + time and intensity of the relationship + and the value placed on the relationship. All relationships are unique, so no one ever has the same experience.
For example, years ago in one of our Grief Recovery Workshops there were two grieving widows. One of the women described the wonderful relationship she’d had with her husband of 40 years. The other woman talked about an abusive and painful 40 year marriage. So while both women were widows from 40 year marriages, that’s all they had in common. But even if both had had fully loving and supportive relationships, the marriages still wouldn't have been exactly the same because unique individuals make up relationships.
Although all grief is experienced at 100% that doesn’t mean that all grief is experienced at the same emotional intensity. That depends on individual people and their relationships.
Although grief is as normal as the sun coming up in the morning, every loss experience is as unique as the person going through it. You have a unique story. I have a unique story. Every single person you know has a unique story too. It’s crucial to honor that and not try to fit people into a neatly categorized box.
The Grief Recovery Method will help if your heart is broken for any reason. The only requirement being a little courage and willingness to take action.