You have lost your job….had a miscarriage….received a life threatening health diagnosis or have lost a loved one. The last thing you want to hear is “It could have been worse” . Seriously?? More Worse?? At that moment these words are pinching, killing . When the pain is new it hurts, it hurts super bad. It is all you can think of.
My religion teaches me that when in any kind of situation look at people less fortunate than you and be grateful. Well, honestly at that moment you simply are not in a position to think….comprehending is out of question. At that moment all you can think of is “why me” “it hurts” or why isn’t the world stopping. The more people say that all will be okay the more it angers and frustrates you.
I understand that people say what they say firstly in good faith because they do care and secondly because they know no better. How can someone who has not gone through that situation understand the depth of it. When someone is facing a problem, it is their problem and only they can understand.
When my son was diagnosed with autism it was my pain but I expected everyone to feel it. I got angry when I would not get the same reaction which I expected. How could someone compare my son’s autism with their son’s flu??? Why did they ask me over and over again why is he doing what he is when I had told them so many times that he is autistic. I was drowning in the sea of whys. On top of that people would tell me to be grateful as it could have been worse. Really?? It just made me more angry. Angry with people, angry with God.
It was much later that I understood it all and it happened during a phone call. My friend was telling me how hard last night was as her kid had fever and she was up all night. She was angry that no one sympathized with her and she kept on repeating it over and over again. At that moment it hit me. For her that was the maximum amount of pain. At that moment all she could think of was why no one understood her. That was her limit and she could not comprehend anything beyond it. So how was I expecting her to understand my situation. Her burden and my burden were different. From my point of view it was just a fever and even found it funny that she was complaining about it. Complaining to me whose struggle she could not even fathom. That day I stopped expecting anyone to understand what I am going through.
If someone shares their problems with you, be happy that you have a special place in their heart and they are confiding in you. You cannot end someone’s pain but what you CAN do is provide moral support. Give them your shoulder to cry on. Listen to them. Do not tell them that it could have been worse or it will be okay! How will it be okay or could have been worse for someone who has lost their parents?? Tell them that you will always be there for them. Ask them if there is something you can do for them. And if there is nothing you can do just their share their silence.