Sometimes I wonder if there's such a thing as too much compassion. Ever since Hailey passed away my compassion for others who are grieving has increased about a million fold. For a while I thought maybe I was obsessed with other's grief, but now I tell myself that its just a new found compassion from one griever to another.
Prior to Hailey dying I always felt a certain level of compassion and empathy for those who lost loved ones, however after a couple days it would slowly fade away from memory as my life continued on. Now its a whole different story. Those emotions never seem to fade away even when my life does continue on. I literally have a data bank in my brain of all the tragic deaths that have occurred since Hailey passed away, most of them people I have never even met. Not only are they filed away there, I refer back to them often. For example, I remember a couple years ago seeing a story on the news of a high speed chase where the man ran a red light and killed a husband and wife who were driving home from dinner. The newscaster was interviewing their children, who were in their 30's, and I remember my stomach just turning for them and their great loss. I still think of them often, two years later, after only seeing a 5-minute story about it on the news.
That's one of a long list of stories I think about often. I become enthralled with them. I think about them everyday, pray for them, follow their stories and even cry for them. It's a little much and Sean often asks me why I do that to myself, to which I can honestly say, I have no idea. I'm just somewhat obsessed. (I hate to use that word because it sounds creepy and I'm not a creepy kind of person.) I just feel a connection with others who are grieving. I feel their pain and loss. I know what Day One, Week One, Month One, Year One and so on is like. I've been there...and still am.
Months and years later I still think of the people and stories I've read about or watched on TV and wonder how they are doing. Did they find some kind of peace and hope or are they still suffering in agony? I want to reach out to every one of them and tell them that I understand. I am them. This is my reality, as well. (Although, everyone's loss and grieving process has just as many differences as similarities.)
There are times that I feel surrounded by death. Every death I hear of hits me hard and sticks with me indefinitely. It's that club that no one wants to be a part of, including myself, but now I am and there's no getting out of it. (However, it is a special club full of people who have love, compassion, and empathy like no other.)
These feelings and concerns are consuming and overwhelming, yet it's in some ways addictive. I guess I feel a kinship with others who are grieving. We have a mutual understanding, even if nothing is ever said between us.
So I'm still trying to determine if there is a thing as too much compassion and if so, do I have it? Or am I just a crazy freak obsessed with death? I sure hope its the former!!