“We are all unique, and we must respect that uniqueness.”— Michelle Cottom
“Trusting your individual uniqueness challenges you to lay yourself open.” — James Broughton
Have you ever thought about how miraculous it is that we are all so unique? At the molecular level, it should be obvious that no two creatures are exactly the same. Human beings all have DNA, but no one in the history of the world has ever had exactly the same DNA as you, and no one ever will! We are wondrous beings who are completely unique and special. However, in many cases, we try to lump each other into the same categories or groups because it makes it easier for us to handle each other that way.
One of the places this becomes painfully obvious is when someone is grieving. I will tell you up front that there is no one “right” way to grieve. Some people cry; some do not. Some are quite; some are vocal. Some people seem to bounce back from loss rather quickly, while some are still struggling years later. Each grief process, like each person, is unique.
While there is no one way to grieve, there are some signs that a person may need help with the grieving process. For example, if someone is deeply depressed and, after a period of time, has not been able to function independently, it may be time to think about getting that person help. Grief is difficult to navigate, but support from family and friends can get you through the process.
The most important thing you can do to respect each person’s right to grieve individually is to stop making judgments about grief. Realize that you have the right to feel the way you feel about a loss while others have the same right. Everyone processes loss differently, and grief is a manifestation of your individual reaction to that loss.
As well as avoiding judgments on other people’s grief process, avoid judgments on your own. You may feel great one day and crushingly depressed the next. Remember that your job is to get through one day at a time with help from your friends!