Last night, after dark, we pulled into our little town home complex. As we drove through, Andrew pointed out the all the lights people had on their decks and front doors.
He quickly blurted out, "See Mom, Other people have lights at their house." And then he began to sob.
I asked him what was wrong--to which he couldn't reply. As his unexpected emotional meltdown continued, I was reminded of a very similar incident involving myself the first Christmas after my Father died.
My mother had taken many of our Christmas decorations to the shop to decorate. I became very irate that she was doing this, and broke down in a similar fashion. I wasn't really upset about her using the decorations, but the incident served as a "slap in the face" of what I would be missing this Christmas.
I guess the same happened for Andrew last night. Except his meltdown was caused because we no longer have any Christmas decorations to put up...and no house to put them up in. He has not lost a father, but he has lost everything he recognizes of a "home."
One of the great blessings I have learned from trials is not to judge another's trials as less than our own, or someone else's. I'm not great at this, but I feel I am now able to better recognize it.
I believe there is a misconception that the death of a loved one is the only trial in which we should feel true sorrow for others. It almost feels as though any other trial doesn't compare in magnitude, and is thus to be swept under the rug and ignored.
This is such a harmful way to treat others. Having experienced the death of a close loved one, I can attest that the trials my children have endured lately DO compare in magnitude to the death of a loved one. As do many other trials our fellow human beings suffer. The loss of employment, the loss of a pet, a divorce, financial ruin, loss of a pregnancy disappointment in loved ones decisions, loss of custody of a child, health challenges and disease--the list goes on and on.
I was grateful to be able to sit back last night, and allow Andrew the opportunity to grieve what he has lost. I was grateful to be able to connect to his feelings of loss and emptiness. And I sincerely hope the next time I see another suffering from a trial I don't understand, that I will remember how badly they may be hurting--and that I will serve as a supportive and understanding human being in their sorrow.
2 years ago