Compare And Contrast

BenchWe all remember the assignment we were given in English class to compare and contrast. I often hear folks do this exercise with their grief. It is almost always done in a minimizing form, such as “My loss pales in comparison to the story I read in the paper today.”

Perhaps there is some value in measuring the perspective of one’s loss by the size of another. In some cases I hear gratitude that the person’s loss is not a worse story. However, comparing losses can be a set up for believing our loss does not deserve grief to the level we are grieving. Folks can feel guilty for the size of their grief when there may be more tragic stories than theirs.

I always encourage those I work with to not minimize their story by comparing it to another. Own it as yours. You grieved because you loved, and that is the measure of your loss.

Share...Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestPrint this pageEmail this to someone
The following two tabs change content below.
Dr. Patrick O’Malley is a psychotherapist in Fort Worth, Texas, specializing in grief counseling. For 35 years, he has counseled individuals, couples and families in his private practice. Dr. O'Malley has recently published a book, "Getting Grief Right" about grief recovery.

Latest posts by Dr. Patrick O'Malley (see all)