When we are in pain, we need to hear, “I hear you, I see you, I am sorry, what can I do, I am here for you” and not “Think of how worse it could be, be grateful for all the good things in your life, and even this too shall pass”. Because truth be told—none of that helps. The hidden message behind all these well-meaning statements is—you should get over it; it’s really not that bad.
But maybe it really is that bad.
And maybe what you really need is a hug. And maybe what you really need changes from moment to moment. And maybe that just has to be ok. Maybe you need to make space for your grief and the variable ways in which you deal with your grief. And maybe you need to be very selective about the people you let into this process.
We all know grief. And if we don’t now, we will at some point, because that is just the nature of life. Love and loss. So, do we stop loving because the grieving hurts so bad? I don’t think so; that would be a terribly grey and sad existence.
So, maybe we can come to a gradual acceptance that grief is part of the life experience, and when we do suffer—we can create as much space and comfort and loving people as we need for that pain. And maybe we can also strive to care for our loved ones who are grieving. We can listen, offer hugs, and as much space as is needed.
This, I believe, is true compassion.