Judgment is one of the most difficult things we face on the grief journey–judgment from others about our actions, and judgment from ourselves about how we think we’re doing. I’ve found that my perspective on grief has changed dramatically since I lost someone close to me, and with it my willingness to judge myself and others.
Let me share a little story to let you know what I mean. . .
A guy I know was talking to me about the death of his close friend. He missed him very much and was feeling somewhat concerned about his friend’s widow and how she was reacting to the death of her husband. He said she recently got a facelift, had lost weight, and was starting to date. He couldn’t really understand why she was “moving on” so quickly and was a little hurt and confused because it seemed to him like the fact that she was doing all these things meant that she didn’t care about her dead husband.
It’s hard for me to admit this, but before my husband Dave died, I might have been kinda judgmental about this woman as well. She’s not doing this grief-thing right. Shouldn’t she be in mourning for at least a year? Shouldn’t she be more respectful of her dead husband by acting sad and depressed? I mean that’s what grief looks like….
It’s so easy to have a fixed idea of how grief is supposed to look. . . that is until it happens to you.
The thing is, we don’t know what kind of marriage they had. Maybe it was complicated? Maybe before he died he told her to do whatever she needed to do to ease the pain of losing him? Maybe they had a great marriage and that inspired her to seek out another great partnership?
The truth is it’s really none of our business. This widowed woman was taking care of herself the best she knew how and was doing what she needed to do to feel better, even if just for one sweet moment. We honestly have no idea what anyone is going through at any given time. It’s their path to walk on and we just need to give them some grace, support and ease off the judgment.
I explained to my friend that when you lose your partner in life, your self-confidence takes a huge hit and “good for her!” for doing something that obviously made her feel better.
How about you? Have you experienced any judgment on how you were moving through your grief? I’d like to hear your story.