I recently ran across a discussion among a group of grieving people.
One of them was incredibly upset that a co-worker had the audacity to grieve the death of a family dog.
How dare this person claim grief when they had no idea what it was like to lose a human child?
And part of me understood. I understood the pain, the hurt, the anger…everything that comes with grief.
I understood that the words she was saying were not her own, but those spoken by grief.
Grief takes hold of our life and shakes it so forcefully that all the tiny pieces fall into disarray like snow in a snowglobe.
It leaves us like vultures, picking over the bones of what we once saw as reality, feeling duped, feeling angry.
But angry as we may be, we do not get to dictate the impact of another person’s loss.
In May, 2014 my 25-year-old brother died.
He died suddenly, shockingly, and unexpectedly.
To say that I grieved his loss is an understatement.
I grieved his death. I grieved the loss of my role as his sister. I grieved the future I imagined we would have together.
I just grieved.
Everything I had thought, planned, imagined for life and what it should be…it was all just snow in a snowglobe.
In May 2017, we sent Jet to the Rainbow Bridge.
It wasn’t sudden, shocking, or unexpected.
But my snowglobe, once again, was shaken.
I was under no illusions that Jet would be with us forever. But even this understanding and being in control of this loss in some way did not stop those tiny pieces of snow from falling.
The pieces may have been different…the way they fell…the way they landed…but they still fell at my feet.
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? No matter their shape, no matter where they fall, we are all standing in our own shaken snowglobe. We are all just trying to put things back together again.