I have a neighbor who recently experienced the unexpected loss of a friend. Her reaction to this loss struck me as quite profound (lots of crying and such) given that no meaningful in person contact (seeing) or even phone contact (talking) had occurred with this individual for many years prior to their demise. My impression was that the friendship was more of an association than deep held relationships. My neighbor learned of the loss through an associate of her partner so even the news was shared 2 or 3 people removed from anyone in the direct persons family.
In discussing the behavior of my neighbor it occurred to me that the grieving was perhaps not so much for the loss of the person but rather the relationship inaction over many years. In the Mandt System we talk extensively about Building Healthy Relationships and Positive Conflict Resolution being founded on healthy relationship in action. Tellingly a minor edit to the word ‘in action’ creates the word ‘inaction’ which represents the opposite meaning entirely.
So given that none of us know when people will be taken from us, lets makes sure that the contact we have with individuals or those relationship that matter to us are characterized by ‘Action’ rather than ‘Inaction’ leaving us in the circumstances of a sudden loss to mourn what we might have done to further the relationship had time not run out.
Simon Kemp – CEO