Things Guys Don’t Do

Guys don’t do grief. We don’t handle empathy real well either. Guys are supposed to be “tough”, like ducks, and let all of our troubles (and everyone else’s) roll of our back with a shrug of our mighty shoulders.\
All this stupid manliness gets in the way of us connecting to those around us, those who might need us. A friend lost a child yesterday, and I don’t know how I would react to that. I don’t know what to say, or how to act. Whenever I try to imagine what he’s feeling, I can’t. It all breaks down. I can’t imagine losing anyone, Max, Brian or Jen. I’ve never really lost a family member that I was really close to before, and I’ve been spared that kind of grief so far, and for that, right now, I feel kind of guilty.\
I don’t have much faith left, but what I do applies here:

  • I believe in a place where we can live with God again.
  • I believe all children are born innocent.
  • I believe all children who are taken before their time are instantly given the highest levels of glory, because they didn’t get a chance to prove they deserved otherwise.
  • I believe that I have no idea what it’s like to be a grieving parent, because every time I try to imagine it, I can’t.
  • I believe that we will all be reunited with the ones we love after we die, and that any pain we feel in this life is temporary if we have a long enough view.
  • I believe finding that long view is the second most difficult thing we have to do while on this planet.
  • I believe the hardest thing to do is develop charity – charity being true empathy, being able to understand the pain and circumstances of others without judgement but with compassion and love.\
    Everything else is secondary. If you’ve got some time, please pray for them. If it doesn’t end up helping them, it might help us for doing it.
Categorized as religion

By Kevin Lawver

Web developer, Software Engineer @ Gusto, Co-founder @ TechSAV, husband, father, aspiring social capitalist and troublemaker.


  1. if there’s one thing i’ve learned about loss it is this: there is nothing that prepares you, every situation and every person and family involved is different, and there’s no proper way to behave when someone loses someone. all’s fair.
    all i can advise is to be there for the person. they probably don’t know how to handle it either. if they need a run to the store, or they need something covered, do it. the best one can do is be a friend.
    i have a friend who is incredibly bright. he’s also a typical guy, who likes to analyze things and provide solutions. when his wife’s father passed away a few years ago, having been through a few recent losses, my only words to him were: just be there, and don’t try to figure this one out. there is no answer. just be there.
    i believe life is a circle. you could be saying hello. you could be saying goodbye. the point is to say something.
    tough stuff, but we’ll all get through, by being, which is what we do, after all.

  2. I know how you feel at least, having gone through the sam thing when I got married to Monica, her family having just lost her older brother, Troy, the summer before. The balance I had to strike was to feel empathy without being dragged down by it. It sounds self-absorbed, I know. But really, you can’t be of any help or support if you’re so bogged down in the empathized pain. Like mkg said, let them do whatever they need to do, feel for them and just be there, whole and not falling apart, cause then they feel bad for making you feel bad, and you feel bad for adding to their bad feeling, and the whole thing is an ugly downward spiral. I guess, be there, but don’t expect yourself to fully go there.

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