This year has been unrelenting. Full stop. One thing after another – cancer, sudden loss and a little COVID-19 fear thrown into the mix. And I was doing ok until about 3 weeks ago when the proverbial snowballs just kept coming, hitting me in the heart. If you are an empath like me, you know what it’s like to feel, deeply feel, other people’s stress and pain. Most of the time it’s manageable but lately, it’s Just. Too. Much. Let’s package that with the holidays and the void that exists in my life; a void that doesn’t get filled. This year, my niece and nephew will be here for Christmas and because they are so little, the magic is there, which helps. Sam will be home and my heart will be comforted.
When you experience loss, no matter how profound, your whole world experiences a seismic shift and some days, it’s easier to manage it than others. During the lead up to the holidays, it takes consistent effort to maintain “normal”, whatever that means. Lately, I have had a couple of people say to me, “Losing my loved one is not the same as losing a child.” No, it’s not the same, but that doesn’t render it unimportant, less impactful or less devastating. Comparing grief is a futile effort because we are all different and the hurt should not be ranked because it’s not important who’s hurting more than another. A recent article on a website called, What’s Your Grief? stated, “If there’s any benefit we can take from grief being a universal experience, it should be that we’re able to have compassion and empathy towards what others are going through. And we know the value of honouring and respecting the significance of each other’s losses.”
A message that we have been hearing throughout the pandemic is, “We’re in this together,” and in grief, we are. To those of you who have lost a child, a sibling, a parent, a pet or anyone else who is important to you, and who you are missing a little more this time of year, know that you are not alone and your grief is no less or more traumatic than anyone else’s. It’s yours and you manage it the way you know best. I’ll do that too, and we’ll get there, together.