Push Past Your Excuses: We Must Accept and Realize That Others Needs Are Greater Than Our Fears
By Tracy Renee Lee
December 9, 2021
“The truth of the matter is that I had an aunt who needed me to visit her and I rarely did. I justified my failings and perpetuated her sufferings.”
I wish I had a dollar for every time I have said, “Death is never convenient.” If so, I would be a millionaire many times over.
Because death is inconvenient, people come up with excuse after excuse to ignore it. This is true for survivors, as well as for their supporters. Good supporters, in my book, are human angels.
I believe that surviving our loved ones is the most difficult thing we do as humans. I buried my great aunt a few years back. Upon her death, she was 104 years old. She would often visit me and through great sadness and extreme loneliness, she would cry out to me, “Tracy, why can’t I die?” She once stated, “Everyone I know and love is dead. I have no friends, no one to love me, and no one to share my life with.” She yearned for death.”
Over the years, I have reviewed her statements many times. My great aunt had grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren living right next door to her; a son and daughter-in-law within a 6-hour drive from her; nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews living within 30 minutes from her. My great aunt had enough relatives living all around her to fill a small city. So why did she feel that she had no one around her that she knew or loved? It was because of excuses.
Each of my great aunt’s relatives had an excuse that justified their failure to comfort her through her decades of loneliness and grief. I admit I had excuses. I live 20 minutes away from her home, I live in a different state than she does, I’m busy because I own and operate a small business, I have children and grandchildren to love, my husband and I have meetings to attend, my husband is a professional speaker and so we travel, I have to cook dinner, I’m too tired to drive to her home, she probably goes to bed before 4:00 p.m. so it’s too late to drop by and so on. The truth of the matter is that I had an aunt who needed me to visit her and I rarely did. I justified my failings and perpetuated her sufferings. I excused myself from my duty to help her.
Eventually, my great aunt became blind and lost her hearing. These physical failures separated her even further from the world of the living. At 104, her balance began to waiver, restricting her to be home. Obviously, she could no longer drive and became 100% dependent on others for her life’s necessities. My poor-aged aunt, during the last stages of life, could rely very sparingly on those with whom she was related. We, those who should have been her comforters and caregivers, were all too busy with our own lives to be bothered with hers. Eventually, my great aunt passed away.
I can only imagine her great joy as she crossed over to the other side of life. She was finally in heaven with those who loved and cared for her, those whom she had missed and yearned for over half a century. What a joyous day her death must have been for her and for them.
As I reflect back and try to learn from her experience, I have discovered great treasures of knowledge. I have learned that you and I must push past the inconveniences and less than ideal circumstances, surrounding death and grief recovery. We must overcome our reasons for shirking our duties and realize that they are nothing more than excuses.
HOW DO WE PUSH PAST OUR EXCUSES?
To push past our excuses, we must knock down the barriers of travel and timing and go around them. Although it may not be the right time for us, we must go anyway.
Additionally, we must overcome the obstacles of inconvenience. We must take the initiative to rearrange our schedules, put aside our discomforts and insecurities about death, seize the opportunity to help someone who is suffering the worst experiences in life and rely upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Moreover, we must accept that it is hard to know what to say when someone is grieving but realize that their needs are greater than our fears. We must be brave. We must not worry that we might say or do something that might make it worse. We must understand that just being there is more than enough. Talking or counseling are required. Listening is enough, even when silence is all that we hear. Being there provides security to the survivor, shores up their foundation with support, quiets their fears and passes along the comforts of love.
There are not enough excuses in the universe to change the reality of death and it will happen to each of us. The most valuable assistance we can give a survivor is to mourn with them.
Be the answer to someone’s prayer. Quell their fears by being with them in their hours of worry, fear, loneliness and heartache. Assist them through the trials of recovery by being their friend through their darkest moments.
Be the comfort promised in the scriptures by sharing Christ’s love and His great Plan of Happiness with them. In rendering these most precious services, you will witness your own pains and fears dissipate, then you will be blessed beyond comprehension as you fulfill, in part, this prophetic promise…
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a Certified Grief Counselor (GC-C), Funeral Director (FDIC), published author, syndicated columnist, Podcaster and founder of the “Mikey Joe Children’s Memorial” and Heaven Sent, Corp. I write books, weekly bereavement articles, Podcasts and Grief BRIEFs related to understanding and coping with grief. I am the American Funeral Director of the Year Runner-Up and recipient of the BBB’s Integrity Award.
It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.
For additional encouragement, please visit my podcast “Deadline” at: https://anchor.fm/tracy874 and follow me on Instagram at "Deadline_TracyLee."