Death brings… truth

Death brings with it so much more than just loss. It brings an uncomfortable truth. Death has a way of shining a light on relationships and allows you to see what is authentic and what is lacking. Over the last two months, certain relationships that I thought were strong and special have crumbled while other relationships that I thought were nothing turned out to be stronger than I ever imagined. Friends drove over 6 hours to be at my father’s memorial service while family members couldn’t be bothered with a 2 hour drive… much less picking up the phone.

I am trying to give some of them the benefit of the doubt… they are unsophisticated and just don’t know how to act or they are bothered and pained by death and are held back by their own fears or they’ve never experienced such a close, sudden loss that they don’t get it.

Of course, my mother says, “Say what you will, the truth is they simply don’t care enough.”

It’s a shame, really. But then again, it’s best to know where you stand with people.

And now comes the decision, what to do with this new found truth? Do you continue to be generous? Do you pretend not to care? Or do you drop out?

I don’t know.

5 thoughts on “Death brings… truth

  1. B. Davis

    When my cousin Lynn passed away 6 years ago, some well-to-do relatives drove 200 miles to attend the funeral.
    I’ve known for awhile that money doesn’t buy class, and let me illustrate the point. This certain moneyed faction of my family is a strange case — have you ever known a multi-millionaire with 2 children who dropped out of high school? Anyway, at the funeral an affluent drop-out cousin came dressed as if she were headed to a fishing hole to catch minnows. She wore tennis shoes and faded, rolled-up jeans and a blouse that looked like something from Wal-Mart’s SALE rack. Now that’s class, ain’t it?

    George Carlin has a wonderful and of course profane routine about funerals and about how disingenous people are around grieving relatives. Carlin says:
    “At my wife’s funeral people came up to me after the service and said if there’s ANYTHING we can do for you, just let us know(the standard b.s. condolence). I told them, yeah, you can come over to my house right now and mow my lawn. There were no takers”.

  2. Michael

    You are so right about how it shows a lot about people. When my father passed away, I was so disappointed in this one man in particular. This man was mentored by my father, in fact, pushed by him when he wanted to give up at his career. My father took him and guided him and wouldn’t let him quit. This person went on to become one of the heads of Prudential insurance and a multi millionaire. When my father passed we received a store bought card without even a personal message in it from this man. A man who owed his success in this life to my father.He couldn’t even pick up a phone to call us. Maybe he was too busy counting his money.

    I could go on and on with people that disgusted me or surprised me when both mom and dad passed. But their actions didn’t dictate how I responded to their losses.. I decided to respond in the way I knew my parents would want and not in the way their actions dictated. Take the high road and be better than the way they treated you at your time of loss.

  3. Audra

    I would just tell them, the next time you talk to them, how you felt about the situation. Continue to be generous to them if that feels authentic to you, but don’t pretend not to care. That’s costing you energy and being inauthentic on your part. They probably won’t notice or put the connection together to their actions (or lack thereof) anyway, so what is the point?

  4. gerald harrington

    I don’t know. Death is pretty profound. People have different ways of addressing it. I refused to “view” my parents at their viewings. Didn’t want to see it. Wanted to remember them as they were when they were alive. Loved the people who came to the services but just wanted the services to be over. I often think of them as still being there. Probably not very adult…

  5. Lilimarie

    I think there are people in this world who do not ever look outside their box. It is not that they do not care, it is not that they do not feel, it is just that they do not let it effect their lives. They like to believe the drive is too long, they like to believe they are sick and they truly believe that. It is not like this is the first time nor will it be the last. And Donna if we claim to love them we need to understand that they lack common sense and WE need to continue to act in unselfish ways.

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