The Danger of Comparative Suffering

 

One of the greatest temptations when going through a loss or difficult time is this human tendency towards “comparative suffering.” It's when we compare our pain or experience to another person’s, and then often determine ours as less than by comparison or severity. 

I've had to push away guilt over the amount that I've cried since the loss of our beloved dog, Cash. I don't know that I've ever cried so much in my life or maybe it's just that time is a gift in that it dulls the memory of certain events. 

And here's the thing, I've lost people who were the center of my world. So did I love my dog more and love them less? 

Of course not. 

Don't get caught in the trap. Don't compare your current pain to your past pain. Don’t measure your pain against global suffering or to someone else’s loss or current experience. 

It's a rabbit hole that doesn't lead to Wonderland. It leads to more suffering and delayed grief and maybe worse than anything, dishonors the love and loss of your current experience. 

I may have never retched in a toilet while sobbing with past pain, but that doesn't mean I loved any less or that it hurt any less. I tell you that to free myself of any judgment and to release myself from the care of how anyone else may perceive that. 

I loved him so much. The loss is great and it hurts like hell and it's going to for a long time. 

And the same may be true of your situation. Your pain is your pain. Don't dishonor it by comparing it to someone else’s.

And to our Cash...our lives will never be the same without you. I'll miss you forever.

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