Grief is so competitive.
When I first started doing this work and started to share my own losses the people with ‘bigger’ tragedies than mine would send me a lot of hate mail.
As if I should not be trying to help them.
As if I should not be teaching them how their brain could help them come back to life.
That I should be ashamed of the fact that I truly believed they could benefit from me.
The messages I received were not very polite. They were very hateful and actually, sometimes horrifying.
I often asked myself why is it that the people who need this work the most were the most resistant.
A couple of days ago a mother who lost her child emailed me to make sure I was aware that her loss was more significant than mine.
That I should know she did not lose her husband, but her child, and that qualifies her feelings towards me.
I responded back in kindness, and I also told her that I too had lost a child, my first child.
But you see, you knowing this about me does not change anything.
It does not change my message to you.
It does not change the way I do this work.
It does not change the fact that I believe divorce is one of the most complicated losses there is.
It does not change the fact that I think being bullied can be a devastating loss when you are a teenager.
To lose your job is tragic.
To be abandoned by your parents is haunting.
To lose your child, yes, it is unimaginable. But not the only unimaginable loss. Not the only tragedy.
A few years ago a father wrote to me about his 16 year old daughter.
She had come home from school and she looked a little down.
She had a tough day. She went into her room and killed herself.
Her grief was so huge, so invisible, so difficult to articulate that she could not live this life anymore. I have read so many stories like this one. So many losses that could not be carried because they were so invisible and tragic.
So please don’t send me any more emails telling me how your loss is bigger and harder than other people’s losses. Because you do not know what people carry inside of them.
You don’t know their sorrow.
You don’t know their invisible losses.
And you not validating someone else’s loss because you are so shadowed by how much bigger your loss is… is not humane.
I have met some of the most heroic mothers during my years of doing the Reentry work.
They are not competitive with their grief, instead they have put all of their energy to making their lives after loss meaningful.
They directed their pain and sorrow towards good.
I have met many heroes with many different types of losses.
And they never compete with their grief, but instead they compete with their wish to find a way back to life.
Over the years I have received thousands of emails from people who have lost their children and their spouses within the same year.
From people whose husband or wife abandoned them after 30 years of marriage for someone else with just a note on the dining room table.
From people who lost the job that fed their 3 children and could not find the strength to go home that day.
So, if you write to me to tell me how dare I do this work because I have not had more tragedy in my life, please know that I get it. I understand why you feel you have to say this.
But if you find a way to stop yourself from feeling this way you will have a chance at maybe helping others too.
Because at the end of the day that is what it is all about.
To use our losses to help someone who is just going through theirs, no matter how big or small it is.
I am sure some of you will disagree with me. To me this means I am doing something right. Three years ago I decided to build my own tribe of people who value their life after loss much more than what happened to them. People who want to come back to feeling alive instead of focusing on all the really bad things that happened. So I built this home and I am so proud of every person who joins us. There are 350 people so far but one day we will have hundreds of thousands because compassion and helping others is much stronger than competition and grief.
With incredible passion about your life after loss,
PS. We go live with my Coffee with Christina class in The Life Starters on the 18th. Join me… only if the above message feels right for you. Here is where you register: www.secondfirsts.com/coffee-with-christina/