From Dealing With Loss to Overcoming Tardiness

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“Suzanne Gelb Image”

”Losing a Friend – When Does the Grief Stop?”


Dear Dr. Gelb:

I heard you talk at that Amazing Women’s Day event last weekend and you said you felt good because you were celebrating someone made their transition (passed away). My friend died peacefully last December and I still feel sad. How can I get to the celebration?

Missing My Friend

A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Missing:

People who continue for years to grieve someone who has died invariably have not learned how to cry. Grief is an emotion that deals with loss, and unless we can cry openly, allowing ourselves to truly grieve the loss of the physical presence of the person who died, what tends to happen is that we eventually push the feelings down. This can be identified as repressing the feelings, which typically resurface when we think about the person or see mementos that remind us of the person. Yes, I believe in celebrating the transition, which to me means a rebirth, a new birth. In a sense, we go back to the Source from which we came. Some people call it heaven. Just as we celebrate birth in the physical, to me there is also a celebration of the rebirth, returning to the Source from whence we came.

”Lateness – Why is Punctuality Not Prioritized?”

Dear Dr. Gelb:

My husband and I coordinate our schedules quite a bit because we share a car and rely on it for transportation to our respective jobs and other commitments. He is rarely on time, or always cuts it down to the wire when it comes to being on time. This annoys me and is frustrating, but I don’t think he will change, because he says I’m controlling him when I discuss his tardiness. To keep the peace I cater to his lateness when I can, saving his dinner in the oven if he is late or making sure he hears his alarm clock that wakes him up in the morning. What should I do?


A: Dr. Gelb says . . .

Dear Tardy:

It is so unfortunate when someone has no consideration for another person’s feelings. This often occurs when there have been no consequences for such inconsiderate behavior.

Many of us have a tendency to excuse people’s tardiness for the fear of either hurting their feelings or being rejected. Obviously these are not good reasons to justify excusing tardiness. If I were in your situation, I would begin to apply consequences for this behavior, even at the risk of being rejected. So, if a mate, or even a child for that matter, is late for supper, I’d put it back in the oven and let them serve themselves. If someone drags their feet and makes me late for appointments, I would start going without them. If someone in the household oversleeps, I’d stop waking them up and reminding them that there is a schedule to adhere to. This change in behavior is likely to impact the behavior of others in the household. Good luck with getting to work on time.

”’Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.”’

”’This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see”’ “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says”

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