There’s a phase of grief that is seldom spoken of that I think all of us visit at one point in time or another: annoyance.
I hate comparisons. Don’t get me wrong. I understand people’s wont and need to empathize when they hear my story. I do. I know that most of them, for the most part, mean well.
I also understand people have experienced loss, and on whatever level, that brings them a bit closer to knowing how I feel. Even closer still, I understand that people have lost their spouses just as I have.
There’s a difference between empathizing, however, and comparing. What I won’t understand is people’s need to compare.
Someone’s pet dying was just as hard on them as me losing my wife. Someone losing their grandfather they hardly ever spoke to supposedly carrying the same weight as my wife who I sat and watched take her last breath. Someone losing their childhood friend, or a sibling, or...insert anything, the list is endless.
In my head, I make attempts to rationalize their meaning and why they’d feel it was on the same scale and sometimes I can get my head to wrap around it.
The one comparison that irks me the most out of all of them, however, when being stacked up against the love of my life: divorce.
I had someone close to me, not but a few days following Linzi’s death, say to me, “I feel like my pain is so much worse because I have to live with this rejection and watch this person live on and be happy without me, whereas what you had was beautiful, ya know?”
This is a late entry. By design.
I wanted to soak in the entirety of this weekend.
For the first time since Linzi had passed…I’d met an entire group of people with whom I shared a very tragic truth: we had, all of us, lost our loves.
There I stood, talking grief, talking life. Not crying or feeling nostalgic. Not making attempts to console the awkwardness of those around me or having to assuage the numerous, automatic and uncertain responses of “I’m so sorry.”
It just felt…normal. And normal is such a weird word if you think about it. Some attribute it to meaning the average of whatever subject to which it refers, while others base it upon the opinion of the general population. I like to think that the idea of normal is very relative to our own perception of what we believe that word to mean.
To me. This was it.