You’ve got to be kidding me, I thought as I scrolled past the words on my feed.
My heart sunk as I scrolled the post on my feed. An aquaintance had posted a picture of her beloved family pet they had put down that morning. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through,” she wrote.
I don’t doubt it was hard or even the hardest thing she’d gone through yet. But her statement caught me short.
At once, I compared our loss to her.
I’d been reeling from the sudden death of my husband at 47 years old. Every dream and plan we’d had together had been buried with him. I’d not only walked through my excruciating grief but watched our seven children push through theirs.
I’d faced countless decisions on my own. I’d learned how to fix the washer and how to manage a rental house which was way outside my skillset. I’d parented tough seasons with my kids alone, begged God to help me raise them to adults and spent night after lonely night with the ache of missing.
It had taken God’s grace and everything in me to let go of the life we had and take hold of the new life that was.
I knew the death of a family pet was hard, but her words stung as I instinctively compared our hardest loss with hers.
Now before you think I’m a completely awful friend, my spirit immediately checked me (and I felt like a heel). I knew comparison was meaningless and my reaction was wrong.
This wasn’t the first time I’d been tempted to compare loss.
After my husband’s death, I heard many well-meaning offers of understanding. “I know what you’re feeling. My husband was deployed for 18 months.” Or “I went through this after my great-aunt died.”