Comparisons are Odious

I’m astonished over what I have observed over the past few days. What I have seen and read has both angered me and brought me great sorrow simultaneously. Though I have read things with my own eyes, I still find a part of myself in disbelief.

A Mother had posted about her great sorrow and grief over her child that she had placed for adoption. One thousand bereaved parents responded. Some were utterly vicious in their tone and attacks. They were void of any compassion. Many blatantly expressed how their pain was so much greater because their child is dead, and how dare this woman taunt them by being among them. ‘My pain is bigger than your pain’ rings in my ears like something I would have heard on a playground in grade school. Shame on you! How dare any of you belittle this poor woman’s deep sorrow and grief! To say: “you had a choice, I didn’t” is equally shameful. Grief is not a ‘pissing contest’…please excuse the terminology, but it adequately describes this juvenile behaviour.

I have an ex sister-in-law that was shipped off to California at sixteen years old because she got pregnant. Her parents who were wealthy Catholics would not allow such ‘family shame’ so they sent her away before she began to ‘show’, and then forced her to give up her daughter for adoption…as if nothing ever happened. She is in her fifties now and still speaks of her daughter. She has tried to find her but unsuccessfully. She doesn’t know what happened to her, if she is happy, if she is ill, if she is even still alive. Though she went on to have another daughter who she loves dearly, she still wonders about her first. She still longs for her. She still grieves having lost her.

I know another young woman whose son died. The courts removed her other children on grounds of possible neglect even though such has never been proven. She grieves for her child who has died, and she also grieves over the loss of her other children. I’ve known others who have lost their children in divorce. They have no contact with them and they weep and grieve for them. Still, there are others who are parents of ‘Prodigals’. All communication has been broken off. Every day they weep; every day they pray; every day they wonder if their child is OK; every day they live with the fear that their child will die because of the choices they have made; every day they question themselves with the ‘what if’s’ and the ‘if only’s’.

Will any of these parents ever see their children again? Will they find them? Will they be reunited with them when they become adults? Will their Prodigals ever return to them? No one knows the answers to those questions, yet the parent who has lost their child by other means than death lives daily with that torment.

Though circumstances may differ, the bottom line is: my child is gone!

To say that at least they have the possibility of seeing their child again brings no comfort when they are gone. I do have Hope and believe I will see my child again who is now deceased. I know he is safe. Yet for now, I grieve. I do not know if I will see my ‘Prodigal’ again. I do not know that she is safe.

We are not to measure or compare our grief with another’s. We are to assist, help, comfort, console, support and validate one another on this journey of grief. If you are a ‘friend’ of mine and are so self-absorbed with your own pain that you are unable to care for another who is also in pain; if you cannot see beyond your own suffering enough to reach out to another in their sorrow, please ‘unfriend’ me. I do not want you in my life. I do not desire nor need your odious comparisons. If you take pride in your grief and wear it like a badge of honor thinking it somehow makes you superior because you think your pain is so much greater than another suffering soul, please leave. You are no ‘friend’ of mine and I do not wish to be associated with you.

I prefer to be among those who are humbled by their pain, have softened their heart in the midst of it, and have compassion for others because of it.

2 Corinthians 10:

12 For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

Image result for do not compare photo

(((HUGS)))  Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
http://www.directtextbook.com/isbn/9781498496728?geis=y
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.

Also, a Contributor on ‘The Mighty’: https://themighty.com/author/jude-gibbs/

Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))

I am the author of this piece and using it without my written permission is against copyright law. Registration# TX 8-383-134

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16 thoughts on “Comparisons are Odious

  1. I truly love this and agree 100%. I had a wonderful Pastor that taught me this and it lives with me with every experience and every heart I meet. Thank you for sharing the words. God bless us all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For some, it’s simply not easily grasped. All they see is their own pain and probably we’ve all been there at some point. But to viciously attack another is simply unacceptable. I sometimes think that if one has lost a child and is still incapable of feeling empathy for another, they never will. (((HUGS)))

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Jude… I’ll never regret standing up for this lady and doing the right thing… despite ugly messages calling me vulgar names, and arguing my opinions with the endless ways this was unacceptable,only to be kicked out of a group that I was offering to willingly leave as soon as someone addressed this behavior.. I knew I wasn’t the only one that was disgusted with this horrific incident . I have met too many compassionate , wonderful people that show understanding and support . I refuse to share my heartache with a bunch of people that think their pain is superior to anyone else’s… and just dismiss that many ugly remarks with no consequence except to label me a troublemaker for pointing it out and demanding someone resolve this mess.. it truely was the most viscous , brutal attack on anyone I’ve ever seen.. and to my horror., people that have suffered … I just can’t even think of word suitable for this shit… my son died… I had no choice… but my loss taught me that compassion , understanding , empathy , are as natural as breathing….. common courtesy at the very least…. because pain just hurts…. no matter the explanation behind it.. I only know my own pain , but I’ve cried tears and felt excruciating heartache for those that reached out when I reached back… some of best friends I’ve ever had I will never get to hug or talk to face to face…
    Much love❤️Many hugs❤️Floods of tears💔 Tommie*Mommie
    Tammy Adams

    Liked by 1 person

  3. thank you for posting. my only child, Emily, became my Angel on 21 August 2017. COD: alcohol abuse. would my grief be lessoned if I had other children ??
    grandchildren ?? I’ll never know.
    it doesn’t matter. my heart and soul have been forever damaged.
    I have a new appendage; it’s name is Grief. I have heard, in time, my grief will become ” softer “, “different “. i’m comforted knowing my beloved daughter has
    no pain, only Love. the loss of a child, biological or adopted, cannot be described or imagined until you have experienced such a loss first-hand.
    Emily, I love you as much as I miss you. we will be together again.
    Love you more…
    XXX Mom OOO
    ❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I totally agree. No one’s pains are comparable and all need affirmed and valadated for when we compare we dismiss and deny its existence.
    I have had a variety type losses and know others who have too, and not one of them is identical be it the.other’s or be it each of mine, each is an injury that needs healing.
    I like the playground scenario you described because children really do sit by the slide and swing yelling at eachother “no my boo boo on my arm hurts worse” and ” no my cut on my knee hurts worse” and others do chime in “my eye still hurts” ” ouch stop pulling my ear” “my nose been dripping days” ” see my bruise” and on and on it goes. Adults need to adult before children, not behave like them. All their pains are valid and not comparable exxept to say its pain, although each is unique to them.
    Great article! Sharing link.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know you know that a similar scene took place on another site today, set off by a post by the same woman who had said some vicious things over the weekend on the other site. She has been removed and blocked, thankfully, by the Admins…but it sure got ugly before that happened. Some folks are trolls. They intentionally amuse themselves by posting/commenting things they know will be divisive and ‘inciteful’, as those who intentionally incite a riot. This is a serious problem on social media. I have seen folks who have never buried a child pretend that they have simply for attention. I try not to engage as much as possible, but I do take action when I see it. (((HUGS)))

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have raised some very good points here, Jude. Loss is loss and pain is pain. And maybe there is a spectrum of pain, a pain scale, like in medical care. I don’t know. But I believe we are all drinking from the same bucket, some of us just get a sip, a taste. Others must drink down the whole thing to the dregs. I am so looking forward to the day when all of it is made right and is forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh, I truly needed these words this very day. November 24th will be the second anniversary of my husband and my little grandson’s death. We are 5 days into the horrific reality that our only daughter and oldest grandson are being held hostage to her husband’s pain and grief and refuses to allow us contact with him or our daughter and grandson. Our hearts break for thier family. Our hearts break for us. Grief is an emotion that can cause terrible effects upon the families involved. I have no idea how this will all turn out, but I pray to God that I will be able to continue in hope for ours and in compassion for others who struggle with the weeping and wailing of the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, these posts make me feel so sad. Sad for the people who experience additional hurt by the insensitivity of others and for those cold-hearted people who are so mean and/or so insensitive to the feelings of others. I’m glad my heart is guided by love, by the Golden Rule, and by the commandment that tells us to love one another.

    You know, my heart is broken. My heart aches for my son. Seeing him again at some point is a wonderful hope, but it doesn’t make me miss him less now, doesn’t make the pain less painful, etc. I am way too busy trying to cope with my grief to question someone else’s grief.

    I can imagine that not knowing where your child is, having no contact, and never knowing where they are or how they turn out would be horrible. When my boys were young, I used to worry about them being kidnapped. I determined that having my child disappear would be excruciating. I’m sorry, but I would rather have them deceased that kidnapped, tortured, sexually assaulted, etc. It makes me anxious and gives me heartache just thinking about it. That thought is so horrible to me that I have to be grateful I know where my son was when he passed. I saw him resting in his casket and got to talk to him, wrap him in the casket trimmings, and help close the lid. I don’t want to relive that time or remind others of their final goodbyes. But, I am hoping to point out that we all have to face the grief and loss, but it could be worse. It could be better if he hadn’t passed away from me, but it could have been worse. I worry enough about that moment when he had a heart attack and died. Did it hurt, did it scare him, was he afraid, did he try to call for help? Why do I worry about this stuff now? The loss is so painful that I know it makes me a little bit crazy! Maybe we should be a little extra forgiving and patient with one another, ’cause quite possibly, we are

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have been heavy-hearted since Friday when I 1st saw these things happening. I reported another nasty commentator yesterday to the Admin. of a group. I’m so so wearied by it all. I have to wonder if some are simply trolls and aren’t even Bereaved Parents. Personally, I am struggling to come to grips with such hatefulness I have seen in certain segments of the Grief Community. It makes me want to simply climb back into my cave of silence. None of us need this additional grief. (((HUGS)))

      Liked by 1 person

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