Less than two months ago my mother passed away. It was the first time I became a mourner, in the halachik Jewish Law status. I've learned a lot during this period of time. I'm constantly amazed by the continued comfort and special greetings I get from neighbors and others who apologize for having missed the opportunity to comfort me during the shiva, the seven day mourning period when a mourner is supposed to cease all mundane activities and allow others to care for him/her.1: to make raids for the sake of booty2a : to seize and devour preyb : to commit violence or robbery or frauded upon his mind*3: to have an injurious, destructive, or wasting effect
Living in a community of just a few hundred families, I can't say that I know everyone, but generally news like births and deaths are known. We make efforts to help when help is needed, even when it's not to close friends. That's a community. I've benefited many, many times when my requests for rides home late at night from work are answered by people I've never even met. Even over a month after getting up from shiva, my neighbors still stop me in the street to apologize for not visiting.
My only negative surprise was from people not here whom I had really expected to have called. I had gotten promises of help from them before my mother died, and they certainly knew of her death... but not a word. Davka, I had worked hard to calm down and dilute the anger for a friend who had experienced a similar thing complained to me. We came to the conclusion that those who are further from a Torah observant life are less aware of the importance of comforting a mourner and in many cases don't realize that the period extends much longer than the shiva. Also, when it's a mitzvah, Torah commandment, people do make an extra effort; it's not just an optional social event. Another thing people don't realize is that the mourning/comfort extends much longer than shiva and even shloshim, the first thirty days after burial.
Chazal, our sages say that the funeral is to honor the dead and the shiva is for the bereaved.
When I very recently saw the people I had been expecting to hear from I kept waiting for words of comfort, even belated. I gently got to the subject of my mother to fully ascertain that they really knew of her death. I'm so used to living with people who are attuned to traditional Judaism, that I had trouble accepting that these other people haven't a clue that their behavior wasn't acceptable, a major faux pas for sure on both sides. My anger, resentment isn't acceptable either. It festers and must be destroyed. We must learn to stamp out such feelings and smash them to smithereens like the glass broken to symbolize the destruction of Jerusalem at weddings.