Trivializing: To make (something) seem less important, significant, or complex than it really is
Last week I was speaking with a widow, she is sixty years old and it has been five years since her husband’s death. She was continuing to feel as though she was still going through the motions of everyday life but not living. She spoke of how she felt she should have more energy, more zest. She then proceeded to tell me about other widows she had met and how their stories were so much worse than hers, that her loss perhaps, wasn’t as significant as that of a young widow with children. We continued the conversation and she told me how she had been minimizing her loss to others when they voiced their sympathies even though her heart was still broken. After all, it had been five years!
Why do we trivialize what is the most devastating of life events, the death of a loved one. Each and everyone who loses a loved one, has a broken heart. Is one heart more broken than another? Are we feeling less entitled to grieve our loss if the circumstances of the death weren’t horrific? Should “acceptance” come because time has past? No, no and no.
Every woman I have had the privilege to work with has confirmed for me that, most often, we suffer in silence and many times, for years. We spare others the knowledge that we are still in pain. We minimize the loss by saying when someone says, “I’m so sorry for your loss” by responding, “Thank you, it happened several years ago”. OMG! Time has healed our wound is what we are saying when, time has indeed past but our wound is still open.
Expressing that our heart still aches at times (everyday), that we cry sometimes (a lot) is not inviting a pity party. What it is is being honest with how we feel. It’s not asking for support or for an answer. What if in response to a sympathetic “I’m so sorry for your loss” we responded honestly “It was devastating. I’m working through my grief”. Which is exactly what grief is, work.
Contact me for a free consultation via Skype or phone and begin your grief recovery.