ENVY

I know I wrote a post earlier arguing that we should not compare griefs. And I believe that there is no hierarchy of one loss is worse than another. Your worst loss is your worst loss, and mine is mine. There is no comparison. All that said, just over a month ago my cousin called to tell me her mom was dying. The family would be with her until the end just a few days later. As I drove past my aunt and uncle’s house, I saw my cousins’ cars in the yard. I felt a terrible envy, not of course that they were losing their mom. I envied them the opportunity to say a last goodbye, knowing it was goodbye. Had I known four years ago that my goodbye to Pop was goodbye, you can bet he would have gotten the bear hug of his life! None of that wink and grin “see ya later,” stuff. After envying my cousins this opportunity, a fairly normal reaction, I had another “normal” response. I felt like a terrible person for feeling that envy. Grief makes us think things and feel things that would otherwise be unimaginable. We may envy the chance to say goodbye. We may be angry at our precious people for leaving. These are not our normal reactions, but grief tends to make the abnormal normal. Don’t beat yourself up for how you feel. It is okay, even necessary, to feel what you feel in order to heal.

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