When we’ve lost something really big, something important, something meaningful, the last thing we want to do is let go of anything else. So we hold on to what we’ve got left just a little bit tighter.
It’s a natural response. And it works—at first. Our friends rally ’round. Family is supportive. Unemployment checks kick in. The potato chip bag feels like a friend.
But after a while, those people we’re clinging to for dear life start to get, well, itchy. Our friends have their own stuff to deal with. Family members want some breathing room. The unemployment checks eventually stop. The potato chip bag morphs into a frenemy—it might feel like it’s keeping the grief away, but all it really offers is a deferment and a kind of insulation. And it’s doing it with a nice cushy layer of adipose tissue, aka fat.
Still, we hold on. Because we’ve lost enough, damn it, and we’re not going to lose one single more thing.