Agree or Disagree: Our culture deals well with grief and loss


To be honest with you, this post comes with a bit of trepidation.

Generally when I post, I’m quite confident with the discussion we are about to engage in. I’m not concerned what you think of me personally. Or the perception you have of my motivations.

This one I kind of did. I tried to look for something else to fit for tonight.  I couldn’t. Here’s  the reason why.

Last week, I wrote a little bit about learning of a friend of mine passing away last week. You can read that here.https://kevinolenick.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/agree-or-disagree-at-times-we-take-our-friendships-for-granted/

The reason I had some trepidation is there was some thoughts in my head. I was thinking you might be thinking I’m still grieving. Or, that I’m still sad. And maybe some might wonder why he still needs to talk about this.

I knew then that it needed to be discussed. 

Not because I’m not “ok”. But because if I had this kind of concerns, the fact is we as a culture probably do not deal with grief and loss. If I had these concerns, I knew I wasn’t alone. Others might have them. And it’s important to talk about them.

Here’s something interesting to note. On average, employers will give three days of time off work for grieving a loss of a family member.  Notice,I mention family member and not friend. There are places that actually will not give time off if it’s a friend. Many counsellors and psychologists would agree that this is generally not enough. 

Or, in Christian circles, I have observed some interesting reactions. If you lose a loved one, one of the first questions asked is if they are “saved”. If they are, we can rejoice because they are in heaven. If not, we are then sad because they are not. The question of the actual person who has lost someone and how they are doing seem to be far down the list.

Based on these two examples, a trend I have observed is we want to rush through the process. We don’t want people to linger in sadness. If you are the one losing someone, you also don’t want people to think that you are weak. You have to show the ability to move on, and smile. Or, so it feels at times. 

I know this is not a topic we can solve in one night, but perhaps this post can open the door to having better conversations around this topic. 

Unless, you think and have experienced something different. How do you think we as culture deals with grief and loss

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