Let me ask you a question: are you a person of your word?
Seriously. Answer the question. When you make a commitment do you stick with it? Do you follow through?
I bet that every single person reading this article answered “Yes!” (with an exclamation point, mind you) to my question.
The truth is that most people lack commitment. If every single person was committed and every single person lived by their word, we’d live in a world with zero divorce, zero animal shelters, and zero abandoned children. We’d live in a world without fat people, where everyone ate healthily, and where everyone exercised beyond their New Year Resolution. We’d live in a world where we would trust politicians, trust in our world, and trust in ourselves.
(I don’t live up to all these things every day. But when I make an express commitment to something I do stay the course until the end).
Few people experience this lack of commitment more profoundly than those who are grieving. While it is true that people are there in the immediate aftermath of loss, their motivation for “being there” is primarily so they look nice in the eyes of others or because “this is what you are supposed to do.” They long to demonstrate how supportive, good, and compassionate they are for all to see. They send flowers and cards, show up to the funeral, type “praying for you” emojis on social media, and more. But the truth is that these actions are all about them and not about the grieving and their loss.
Now, before you accuse me of being jaded, let me be clear that I am just being blunt and direct. Let me be clear that I am just speaking the truth. Let me be clear that I am just trying to WAKE YOU UP.
If you are new to grieving, be prepared. That honest-to-goodness support you feel today will dissipate over time. Other writers about grief argue that this dynamic has to do with how we perceive grief itself — the truth is grief does not dissipate over time, grief lasts long after people unfamiliar with the concept think it goes away, and long-term grief is not a mental illness. These writers are correct in their analysis. But the issue with why people are not there to support those who are grieving months and years after the date of their…