I had a conversation with a woman a while ago that stuck with me. She was feeling bad because she was feeling sad. She told me that she had lost her grandfather. She thought that the intensity of her grief wasn’t appropriate because he was a grandfather. She said that she felt bad because there are other people around her who are grieving the loss of someone “more important”.

I sat with her for a short time and asked her about her grandfather. Oh my, they were close. The whole family is close and her grandfather was woven into all of their days and events. From important events like birthdays and Christmas to small seemingly insignificant events, like the every day visit after work with his son. He was the glue, a center point for everyone to move around.

She loves him so much! She understands that her whole family will be different now without him. Their world will have to change.

As she talked about him and cried, she started to see that in fact he is worthy of her grief. That she doesn’t have to feel bad for feeling sad. The loss of her grandfather is huge for her and her whole family. He is one of the most important people in her life.

Do not compare your grief. We are all unique and our relationships are unique. No one gets to tell us that one person, one loss is more important than another. We, you get to decide. Allow yourself to honor your person and honor your own grief. It is real, it is intense sometimes and it is important.

Denise Torgerson
Community Programs