Why Do People Abandon Us?

Yesterday I wrote about feeling abandoned
following the death of someone you love
I explained that it’s not personal.
It’s almost universal.

People you love.
And that you thought loved you.
People you trusted and counted on.
People you shared your life with.
People that knew and loved your beloved.
Abandon you
at a time in your life
when you feel that you need them the most.

in most cases
this has absolutely nothing to do with you.
And everything to do with them.

So the question is “Why?”
Why did they abandon you?

Most of us will do whatever is necessary to feel absolutely nothing.
We are afraid
of feeling
much of anything.
As odd as it sounds
and as odd as it is
most of us are actually afraid of being fully alive.
Of being whole human beings.

So we numb ourselves in a wide variety of very creative ways.
Some of these numbing soft addictions
are frowned upon
while others are admired.
Regardless of the method
the goal is the same.
It’s to perfect the art of feeling not much of anything.

We’ve either forgotten
or never really learned
that whole human beings know there is value in feeling all of it.
All of it.
That which we have decided to see as positive
and that which we have decided to see as negative.
Whole human beings aren’t afraid to “go there.”

And the truth is
that it is almost impossible
to be with a person who is living with grief
and not feel.
Your own grief.

When I am with you
and you are
and open to your own grief ~
I feel.

I feel your grief.
And I feel my grief.

And that scares most people.
That terrorizes most people.
Most people will do whatever is necessary to avoid going there.
Most people do not want to feel the grief
they've stuffed deep down.
Even if it means abandoning you.

The fear of feeling
all that has been
stuffed down
pretended away
is that great.

It is “easier” to abandon you
rather than accompany you and feel their own painful stuff.

Does it mean that person stopped loving you?
Does it mean that person no longer cares?
Does it mean that person is less than?
Does it mean that person is intentionally trying to hurt you?

No. No. No.

It means that person is a human being.
Living in the year 2016.
for the most part
we abandon our brothers and sister when they need us the most.

As you begin to feel like you are on firmer footing
and able to spread your wings
it is important that you remember this.
When you are ready to soar again
it will be up to you
to decide if you want to “reclaim” and “recolor” these relationships.
If you do
than you can lovingly become the teacher.
You can lovingly re-open the door.
That was shut
due to fear.

To learn more about my first book click: Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief." To learn more follow me on Twitter @ TomZuba, at YouTube and find me on Pinterest.

If you’d like to explore this further, or any other facet of your grief journey, I work with people one-on-one.  If you’re in the Rockford, IL area, we can do that in person.  If you’re out of the local area, we can Skype or Facetime.  If you'd like to work with me, please email me at tomzuba@aol.com and we can schedule a session and discuss cost.

I also want to make sure you aware of my Video Program “Transforming the Way We Do Grief.”  The intention I set when I created this 3-part Video Program, is to help you heal ... to help make the unbearable, more bearable. Through this program, I share with you much of what I've learned about healing during my 20+ year journey with grief.  To learn more click:  "Transforming the Way We Do Grief.”

There is a new way to do grief
and we must become the teachers.



  • Thank you, Tom. I saw your Facebook post of this article today … and even though it was originally written in Oct. 2014, it was perfectly timed for my heart today. I have lost 21 loved ones — 18 through death and three through desertion (including my husband) since early 2002. All these losses have staggered me. Half of my original family are gone, my two best-ever friends, and my most beloved mentor, among others. The cat I loved above all others died late last spring, and soon after, two of my closest friends disengaged from me. One left eight days after my cat died … the other, two months later. Grief does pile up on us when the losses are relentless … and your wisdom here helps me to understand what may have been going on in those friends who left me. They considered me family, and I them. There is an aspect to grief that we tend not to address … and that is the amputating of relations (such as divorce, and the sudden abandonment of friendship). It is a particularly agonizing grief when someone has left and still is alive … I have found the deaths of loved ones to be easier, over the long term, to accept and integrate. The chosen abandonments … they are a horrible wound. It takes every inner discipline and every bit of mercy I can muster to not blame those losses on my own pain, my need for comfort, my sometimes desperate mourning. Your constant reminders that we are all in mourning to some degree help me to stay afloat. Thank you so much. Bless you for what you give to the world.

  • You have a way of bringing the feelings in my heart out into the open. Thanks.

    Susan Fowler
  • I know what it feels like to feel abandoned. I lost my husband suddenly six months ago. I believe he was ready to go, but I wasn’t ready to lose him. I find it difficult to accept that he wanted to go, knowing how painful it would be for me. We are both very spiritual, and I always believed that whoever left first would communicate with the one left behind. Although my daughter frequently gets signs from her father (times, 4:44, just as you, Tom, saw 2:22), I am not seeing any signs from my husband, This only intensifies my feelings of abandonment. I know I am the only one who can heal myself, and I am trying to do that, but I’m not making much progress. You are an inspiration, Tom, and I will try herder to follow your example. Regards, Tricia

  • I started reading books about “Life After Death” “We Don’t Die” “The Power of Positive Thinking.” I was obsessed and blessed with the absolute belief that there was another world (Heaven.) that I wouldn’t be visiting for a long, long time.
    Convinced this wouldn’t happen to me ..I had my grandparents until their late 90’s and a healthy beautiful Mom, Dad and Brother. I was a compete Brat who’s parents did everything for me. yet, I always knew I had to be strong and independent. My favorite phrase was I can do it myself and I gotta go!" Oh boy, I did everything..cheerleader, dancer, sorority girl, popular and most fun loving.
    Then, it happened..I dreamt my brother had “AIDS” but, I knew I was helpless so, I decided I wouldn’t worry until I saw him and he looked blue. We both worked for United Airlines and when he was there to greet me after my flight..it hit me..he didn’t look right and I knew he’d leave this world very soon. In two weeks time he felt sick, announced he was “Gay” to our parents and waited for me to fly in when he "took a turn for the worst. He was gone ..I was gone as well…I was taken to a complete and profound place of heartache and strength. I knew exactly how to plan a funeral and I understood it was his time. It became my time as well. I was never and never will be that Brat..but, a surgence of power possessed me. I was as my Mom said “our rock.” My parents however were just being strong for me..I no longer had a mother that would hum around the house ..she was gone. She tried though as always for me. I felt so helpless..I couldn’t explain that I knew he was meant to go. Two years later I heard a voice tell me to “move home” so, I left New York and came home to live with my parents. One day I walked by my Mom and went back into the house and asked her ’what’s wrong?" ‘Nothing" she said. One month later she went into the hospital and died.the next day. I was so mad at her..she left me..me? Really? Now there were two..left with the most challenging father, hand in hand we dealt with her death differently. I went to Egypt, Peru, Brazil to study with Spiritual people. It helped me but, I still couldn’t help my dad..he felt “robbed.” we became like brother and sister and he started dating yet, they were companions..I tried to teach him about spirituality yet he was stubborn..he just didn’t know ..he was suppose to go first as he had the heart issues. God gifted me with his company for another 15 years. I dragged him on most of my flights and he tried to have a good life without his love.He passed in his sleep as he wished.
    I so often find joy in my grief..I never had or will have to care for anyone or, see them get old. They were and are the most beautiful people I have ever know.
    I often cringe when people feel sorry for me..why not me? I am a strong, sensitive compassionate person who is always expelling the joy that can arise like the Phoenix.
    Frustrated at the lack of education..and how people often can’t cope, I turned my grief around. Perhaps with not as with much patience as you.
    Thank you for you as yes, the tears are streaming down my face.
    All the best, always. Renée

    Renee Price

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