We will all suffer loss at some point in our lives. While each situation may differ, the loss has one thing in common – heartache. Loss is loss, and grief is grief, no matter the circumstance surrounding the loss. Before you began walking your grief journey, let me ask you, did you ever think it will never happen to me?
If you suffered child loss like me, I’m sure when your child was born, you never thought it would happen to you. When Melanie was a little girl, I never thought she would have Substance Use Disorder. During all the special moments and milestones in life, I had many dreams of what her life might be like – not one of them included disease or dying before me. No, I never thought it would happen to me.
Maybe your loved one passed away unexpectedly in a car accident like my father did when I was still a young girl. This was something that happened to other families. I never thought it would happen to me.
Today, many are grieving the loss of a family member still on this earth. I’m sure in your wildest dreams, you never imagined your child wouldn’t be speaking to you. You never thought this would happen to you.
Maybe you’re a parent or spouse whose loved one took their own life. When others hear about your loss, suicide, like addiction, carries shame and judgment. As a parent who has lost a child to the disease of addiction, I’ve encountered the look; this happens when they discover why your loved one died. You can clearly see judgment cross their face and practically hear their thoughts: What happened to your daughter will never happen to mine. We live in a friendly, affluent neighborhood, and that will never happen to my child. My daughter was raised in the church. My son plays sports. My child is in college.” Yes, they definitely think it will never happen to them. Famous last words.
If you have found yourself in the position of receiving the look, I am deeply sorry. Please know you have no reason to feel ashamed and should never be judged. Sadly, bad things happen to good people, even if we do not understand them.
I hope and pray that everyone would consider walking in compassion, with less judgment, and extending grace toward those suffering. We never know what life holds for us. I never thought it would happen to my family or me, either.
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