Giving Up and Letting Go


Walk with me a bit.

The other day, I came across an article written by a mother entitled “The Day My Son Gave Up On Me” ( The tale resonated with me, not because I have children, but because the concept of “stopping” seems prevalent in my own life and in my own observation of others. The gist of it is: there was something good in this mom’s life that she took for granted and she stopped putting in the requisite energy and time to nurture this good thing. Subsequently, the good thing stopped and only then did she realize what it was she had. Or something like that. (Note: she realized this in time to right the ship and rejuvenate the good)

This is an old story and one we’ve all heard time and time again. It’s been poem-ed about, sung about, speech-ed about, movie-d about, storied about and talked about for, I’m sure, millennium: appreciate what you have, kiss an angel good morning, never take for granted or risk losing it forever. Usher sings NUMB; Lady Antebellum sings NEED YOU NOW; Passenger sings LET HER GO. The pain of loss is everywhere, current and rampant.

However, the fear of losing is only as strong as the perceived value of what we might lose.

And herein is the problem. What do we value?

We’ve all experienced that “WTF” when we discover that we’ve been “unfriended” on Facebook. The event may have gone completely unnoticed for months, or may have been accompanied by a “Good Bye” note, or may have been very noticeable because you thought “things were fine” and actually interacted somewhat with the virtual-friendship-framework associated with this “friend” (Note: in quotes as the certainty of use here is in question) The reality can’t be ignored, however, and that virtual friendship link is severed – at least for the moment.

The severing in and of itself changes nothing. Presumedly, we continue living our life as we had – putting little or no effort into interacting or considering the now-lost friend. However, there should be, at least in cursory form, a fault tree analysis or an after-action study to better situate the loss or to further cage any possible attempt at reconstitution.

Why did our friend give up on us? Were we unattainable? Unreceptive? Non-participatory? Unaware of their own challenges and successes? Indifferent to their mettle? Manic in our attention? Sociopathic in our internet-based persona? Preoccupied with self? What? What? WHAT?

The bottom line is likely that the friend just gave up on us. And why wouldn’t he? I would too. He is clearly not valued by us. And if he was, and we were incapable of putting forth the requisite energy and time to nurture his friendship, he is deserved of amends or we are unworthy of his goodwill.