I recently ran into a woman I hadn’t seen in a long time. She had clearly gained a lot of weight and looked very puffy and swollen. I didn’t ask, but she volunteered that she was on anti depressants and had been eating out of control. She went on to say that she was just not up to going anywhere these days and could barely function – all because she had just experienced a tremendous loss.
I felt so sorry for her and I asked her what had happened.
Her cat died.
My first reaction was – OMG – did I kill it?
You see, I live on a street with a crazy old lady who loves to feed stray cats. Every now and then, on my way to the gym at 5:30 in the morning –when its totally pitch black outside and no one is on the roads – not even the newspaper delivery man – I sometimes see a stray run in front of my car – pausing for just a slight second to stare me down with those creepy glass eyes as if to say “bring it”.
But one particularly dark morning, not so long ago, I saw those creepy glass eyes standing in front of my headlights. I slammed on the brakes and panicked. But when I got out of the car to look at what I had just inevitably done – nothing was there! Relief flooded over me as I realized it must have gotten out just in time – possibly limping – but alive nevertheless. (Ok, I admit, the relief was partially because now I didn’t have to worry that my workout time would be cut short since I wouldn’t have to stick around to clean up any mess!)
Now don’t get me wrong, I totally empathize with those who have lost someone or something that is near and dear to them, especially now that I am a dog owner (notice I did not say dog lover).
I can truly identify with losing a pet – more so for my kids sake.
But the way it affected her so drastically- her life took a full turn for the worse – my first reaction was that it almost seemed – well, too much.
But then I thought about it for a second and realized- who am I to say when someone is mourning – too much? Isn’t death personal? I know one thing’s for sure- its most definitely inconvenient- but even more so – its just so subjective.
It made me think even more so that possibly we are all too judgmental when it comes to others pain. I’ve always been a big believer in giving someone the benefit of the doubt. You never know what they’ve been through to make them act that way, what’s happening at home or simply, what kind of day they’ve had.
We all have our own individual priorities in life.
Before you go judging others about what you think is trivial, stop and consider that maybe whats important to you is not at all significant to them.