Grief is like having to sit next to a smelly person on a bus.
You have an assigned seat and can't move. The trip is very long (maybe forever). You don't want to sit next to this smelly person, but you don't have a choice. Sometimes you can barely smell the person, at other times they lean so close to you, they suffocate you with their stench. At times you think you might vomit from the stink, at other times you can go a whole day without noticing it.
But this does not make your neighbor any less smelly.
You notice someone has a very loud seat mate. Another person has a neighbor who won't stop poking her. You feel horrible for these people. You think, "I'm so glad I don't have to listen to that loud person, and I can't imagine how someone endures being repeatedly poked! How do they handle it? I can't believe I am feeling so horrible about my smelly person when others are dealing with worse neighbors! I am so selfish!"
But thinking others have it worse than you doesn't make your neighbor less smelly either. The smelliness is still a problem, no matter what the other riders are experiencing.
You try to ignore the smell. It doesn't work. You try to address the smelly person directly. You say, "Could you move to another seat? You are making me uncomfortable."
The smelly person does not move.
You get very angry with the smelly person. You yell, "I am so sick of you! I hate you! You are ruining my entire bus ride! Get away from me!"
The smelly person does not react.
You realize that you have no control over the fact that you have been assigned to sit next to this person. The only thing you have control over is how you react to the smelliness.
The situation is not ideal. You would not have chosen to sit here, but you have no choice.
You develop some coping skills: you breathe through your mouth, you lean away from the person as much as possible. You chant repeatedly inside your head, "I can deal with the smell. The smell with not ruin my ride."
Even with your new coping skills, you still have days when you feel you can't tolerate the smell no matter what you do. You get angry at the smelly person again. You look around and feel jealous of the other riders again. You feel guilty about the riders you think have it worse than you again.
On these days, you fear that you have learned nothing about how to cope with your situation. However, each time you get frustrated, angry, jealous, or guilty, you are quicker to remember the view out the window and that good book on your lap.
One day you are far enough along on the ride to say to yourself, "This is how things are now. I am sitting next to a very smelly person. I don't have to like it, but I can't let it completely ruin my bus ride, either."