However, I talked with each, and also number of other friends who I know have experienced significant suffering. Some of the comments I will give individual posts, but from different conversations, I collect the following word associations for suffering:
From Thesaurus.com, I found "suffering" defined as "pain, agony". Synonyms listed were: adversity, affliction, anguish, difficulty, discomfort, distress, dolor, hardship, martyrdom, misery, misfortune, ordeal, passion, torment, torture.
Wikipedia defined "suffering" broadly as "an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual." The article further explained that suffering can be subdivided into physical suffering, mental suffering, emotional suffering, psychological suffering, and even spiritual suffering. In addition:
[Suffering] may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and frequency of occurrence usually compound that of intensity. Attitudes toward suffering may vary widely, in the sufferer or other people, according to how much it is regarded as avoidable or unavoidable, useful or useless, deserved or undeserved.
So a paper cut causes a certain level of suffering, and betrayal by a friend causes a different level of suffering. But the intensity of pain felt by each will differ (stating the obvious there).
What is the worst thing you have ever suffered?