No One Wins At The Grief Olympics

No one wins at the grief Olympics.

There is no winning with grief.  Yes, there are gains and there are definitely losses, but there is no way to determine who has reached the highest level of grief.  Unlike the Olympic athletes who showcase their strength and prowess, there are no set criteria to determine whose grief has earned them a medal.

There are no medals in grief, but that does not stop us from participating in the Grief Olympics.

Living a life of grief is comparable to the life of an athlete training for competition.  Dealing with our grief is grueling work.  Although it helps us to become stronger, it leaves us exhausted in the process.  However, there is a big difference between us and those talented athletes.  Our coveted prize can never be achieved.

We have already lost our prize and there is no way to earn it back.

This leaves us feeling defeated and in the midst of such defeat lies the temptation to win some sort of prize for our efforts. So we begin to compete with other “grievers” in the hopes of being recognized for what we’ve had to endure.

We compare types of losses or how we lost our loved ones.  There is the competition about the number of losses we’ve faced or when we lost the people we love. We keep creating contests for ourselves and it’s not because we want to win.

It’s because we don’t want all of this, the grief that we are experiencing, to go unrecognized.

There is so much effort that goes into living life while missing those we love.  Unless you are also grieving, you do not know that just getting through the day is an incredible accomplishment.  On top of just surviving, we are trying to keep alive the ones we have lost.  We are worried that if we don’t carry the flag for our loss then it will be forgotten.  Our stories of what we’ve been through are all we have and so we wrap them around us; a banner signifying our survival.

But, what if instead of holding up our own individual flag, we hold up the flag for grievers everywhere?

Let’s stand united as the delegates for grief.  Instead of seeing who has gone before us and who is coming up behind us, let’s look beside us.  See who’s there and take their hand regardless of the loss they’ve endured or their experience.  Let’s sing the anthem of our loved one’s names with a melody so sweet that others will join our song.  Let’s speak to one another in love, the universal language of grievers.  Let’s keep the memories of our loved ones burning bright; a torch that will guide us through our darkness.

Photo by Seth Macey on Unsplash

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