Caring Too Late

More often than not, people tend to care about others only once they are dead. Instead, we need to start caring and paying attention while they are still here.


Carli Leonard, Staff Writer

I was scrolling through Instagram the other week when I clicked through 22 — and I am not being dramatic, 22 Instagram stories of people posting about Mac Miller’s birthday, who was a famous artist that passed away last year. Now, I am not saying that people posting “RIP” and “Happy Birthday, We miss you” is a bad or negative thing. What I do suspect, however, is that no more than 10 of those people would have given Mac’s birthday a second thought if he was still alive. This, people caring about other people only after they are dead, is something I see way more than I should. 

On a more personal note, a few weeks ago I was at my uncle’s funeral, where I talked to more people than I have in a very long time. After being introduced to relative after relative, person after person, I started to notice my dad specify who visited his brother in the hospital or not. 

At first, I wondered why in the world I needed to know this information, but then I realized he was telling me this for a reason. My dad was pointing out who took the time and cared enough to visit my uncle prior to him passing. The number of people he pointed out was shockingly small compared to the total number of people at the funeral, especially considering the funeral home was just as close as the hospital he was in. 

A well-known rapper, who coincidentally also passed away this past year, said in a song, “When people die that’s when we start to listen.”

That is the exact point that I am trying to make. It is only after someone is dead that we listen to their music and only then do we post about them on social media when we couldn’t take an hour out of our day to visit prior to their funeral.

Why do we do this? Why do we start to care about people a whole lot more once they are dead?

I think there are three reasons. First, we want to be a part of the crowd and hop on the bandwagon. We publicly show the amount we care because we see others doing it, whether we cared about the person while they were alive or not. The second reason is own feelings of guilt. We know we did not show enough appreciation when they were alive, so we try to make it up to this person after their death. The third reason, and the one I believe to be the most common, is that we are constantly making ourselves so busy that we forget to care until it is too late. 

So, how do we solve this problem?

The most important thing is to not wait until someone is dead before you decide to care or check-in. Call your grandma, get lunch with your friend, send a text. Caring is not the same when you only care because they’re gone.