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Since the death of our son, I've had friends who have miscarried early in pregnancy, friends who have miscarried late in pregnancy, friends who have grieved infertility, friends who have given birth to stillborn babies, friends who have lost a parent, friends who have lost a friend or family member to suicide, and friends who have lost a young child to freak accidents. It is interesting to me how often tragedies get compared. A number of times I have heard, "Oh, Cheryl, I'm devastated over my loss, but I can't IMAGINE what it must feel like to have lost your child whom you held, nursed, and knew!"
But what IS worse?? Losing Billy to SIDS at 5 months where I don't get to watch him grow up and talk and develop his unique personality? Or losing Billy at age 25 when I have 25 years of memories to mourn? Or losing him in my womb before I even get to know his gender, see his smile, or hear his laugh? What about my precious friend who longs for children and yet cannot conceive- and through IVF, has suffered multiple miscarriages? Consider my friend whose father died far too early- and whose children now don't get to grow up hanging out with their godly, wise, wonderful Granddaddy here on earth.
What God has shown me is that there's just no sense in comparing tragedies. Devastation is devastation. If your heart is broken, it's not "more broken or less broken"-- Broken is BROKEN! And every grieving parent, child, friend, person- needs the healing from our loving God who is the only One who can piece our hearts back together. God promises in Psalm 34:18 that He is "close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Please don't get me wrong- I do understand that tragedies are different, and people grieve differently. But as far as trying to "rate" losses, I think it's better just to be sensitive to the brokenness in others and be there to help comfort them in whatever way we can.
Keeping this in mind reminds me that I am not alone in my loss, and it helps keep my heart sensitive to the pain that others are experiencing.