I have a few friends that have lost people close to them and I have always consoled them by saying; “I feel and understand your pain? But you know what? I LIED. It was a lie, I told myself and the bereaved a couple of times.
How could I possibly have understood or felt someone else’s pain, when I haven’t walked in their shoes? I didn’t know how it felt to lose someone you loved dearly, with all your heart.
You know, you can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.
The days turn into weeks, which turn into months, which turn into years and you still feel the pain and you wonder if this pain will ever go away. And then I remember, that’s another lie I told; “Time will heal.” But does it really?
Now, I feel and understand the finality of death and the permanent absence of someone you love. Through it all, I have come to realize that grief is the form that love takes after someone you love dies.
Now I can say to the bereaved, “I feel and understand your pain” because I really do.