A friend recently reminded me of something really important, that the depth of my own sadness/grief hadn’t allowed me to consider.
They reminded me that my hurt and pain and grief is mine – just like the other party has their own pain that I cannot and will never precisely feel. I might feel sadness and cope by letting all my emotions run out freely in words, while they might keep them all inside, but I can’t discount how the other side feels & must remember that how I process my own sadness is all that I can hope to harness.
Just because the outward appearance of how the other party is reacting doesn’t match our expectation, or how we are grieving, that doesn’t mean they aren’t hurting too. Sometimes we feel even more hurt by the fact that we believe the other party isn’t hurting at all, because their expression of it (or lack thereof) doesn’t seem indicative of the intensity of the relationship; however, with the situation or roles changing, that cannot be expected. A true “equal exchange” will never happen, in any relationship, or in any measure because that’s not how love, friendship or experiences work. We can never “match” the time or quality of time spent, the exact pennies that a meal cost, or the emotional investment of another. We just can’t, so we have to be willing to let go and surrender to the understanding while we try our best to move forward in a way that honors the person we want to be.