It’s easy to be loyal when you’re in someone’s presence. The question is, are you loyal to people when you are not with them?
I’m not just talking about the wandering, lustful eye. If you’re married or in a committed relationship, this shouldn’t be happening at all anyway!
What I’m specifically speaking of today is loyalty to people in the way you speak about them when you’re not in their presence.
Sadly, an individual lost their battle with depression and chose to end their life last Monday. This individual used to work at my place of employment. As tragic as the situation already was, I couldn’t help but overhear people chattering away about their speculations of what happened leading up to him taking his own life. This weighed heavily on my heart the entire week.
Some of the people were friends of the individual, and it saddened me greatly that they seemed to be enthralled in the details each were passing around.
“Did you hear …”
“Well, I heard …”
It took me back 15 years ago to when we lost my sister. She was a very private person, and it pained me greatly thinking of how she was now the “talk of the town” back then. She never liked the attention being on herself at all, and back then, people were sharing and exchanging awful stories of rumors they’d heard back and forth. How do I know? Because one rather heartless individual asked me point blank questions surrounding my sister’s death. I’ll never forget this as I had just started a new job where I hoped no one had knowledge of this tragic event in my family’s lives. I wanted to go some place to start fresh without anyone looking at me with “that” look and whispering about my sister or my family. That dream was short lived as I sat in my office with tears filling my eyes as this individual poked and prodded with their questions.
Here’s a word of advice: No matter the circumstances of a person’s death, do NOT ask what happened. This is especially important if the death is a result of a suicide. Do NOT, under ANY circumstances, ask how the person did it, what they used, who found them, what they looked like, etc. You will be making the family member re-live this horrible event in their life. Also, never EVER say, “They must have really wanted to die” as another cold person said to me. Likewise, don’t look at the grieving family with their hearts shattered and say, “Sorry about your sister, but life goes on.” I had this happen to me AT the funeral home the night of my sister’s visitation. I became a blubbering mess as I looked this unsympathetic person in the eyes and said, “I don’t see HOW without my sister!” If you don’t know what to say, let me offer the following suggestions: “May God comfort and provide peace” or “Thinking of you in this very difficult time” or even “Keeping your family uplifted in prayer.” Think of how YOU would want to be approached and what you would want to be said to you during your time of grief.
Have a heart when dealing with grieving people.
And, be loyal to the ones that have passed on.