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.
(((HUGS))) Jude Gibbs, Author of ‘Gifts from the Ashes’ available at:
Articles on WordPress.com: https://wordpress.com/posts/bereavedparentsblog.wordpress.com.
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Please help spread the Word. TY! (((HUGS)))
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