Thursday, October 12, 2006

attitudes on death and dying

That was the name of a course my friend (and frequent blog commenter) took at GW. As I prepare to attend a funeral I am encountered by the need to react to a death, and I know that I will be witnessing the way that other people deal. This is an easy one to screw up. If only your thoughts and feelings on these types of things could stay private ... but they can't. If you don't react properly, people could think you awfully cold and uncaring, or insensitive and brutish. It's high stakes possibility of offending so it's easy to wind up privy to people over compensating and saying a wide variety of awkward things to each other.

Sympathy, sometimes expressed with gift baskets.

It can be troublesome to express grief and sympathy. There's that overarching obligation to others to let them know that yes in fact there's something in that heart of yours that feels appropriately sad- sad as it should feel because if you don't feel it to the proper degree you're just no good. I often think it's most compassionate to change the subject.

I had a boyfriend whose dad had died and I never wanted to ask him about it because I didn't think I should make him think about it when he didn't have to. I figured that he would tell me whatever he wanted to talk about whenever he wanted to. Turns out he got upset once that I didn't seem to care. I did. I just couldn't imagine him having to think about it for my expense.

And upon reading this story about the recent death of a high school student where a reader posted in the comment section "we love you jamie you the man", I fear that some responses are rather not so good. He ain't "the man" anymore, Fern. He's dead.

And speaking of death and violence, I am fascinated by the apparent brutality at La Esquina. The citysearch thingy is even more fantastic.

And did you know that on iTunes you can change stores to other countries? It's a pretty awesome way of discovering new music and buying cool imports.

Oh dear. Was that an inappropriate time to bring up iTunes? Should I stay in a more somber mood for the duration of this post? Ack. I don't know. I just don't want to mess with the deathiness.

UPDATE- I'm posting this after attending the funeral. I find being sincere and saying as little as possible works best. But I still have troubles judging between when and where hugs vs hand shakes vs cheek kisses are most appropriate and when is the right time and duration to discuss your sorryness for the loss. I just wanna be sure people feel as alright as possible! And by the way I don't feel like reflecting here about who died and what I felt about that person. So don't ask, thank you very much!

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