My moms bro died last night and I'm sad for her (kinda) and I'm sad for the adult (40 and 23 years old) children of my uncle
at the same time
I dont feel shit.
This uncle was the best when I was growing up, I loved this uncle hard. However, the older I got the more I saw how much of an emotional and financial vampire this uncle was. When people would speak of him it would not be positive and when I would sense the energy of a persons interaction with him it was also negative.
He was sick with Sarcoidosis for decades and spent the majority of his time at home just existing and being around folks. Most of his time was spent drunk and high and his habits accelerated his health issues. If you looked at him and then one of his brothers you would see a crazy amount of aging between the two due to the bad habbits my uncle maintained.
Long story short, I know all of this is painful for my loved ones but I really think this shit is for the best for those close to him. He brought some joy but the joy came with a list of negative attributes. I think this will free up some people.
1. "that feeling terrifies me" In response to Reply # 0
i flip-flop back and forth between concern and apathy at the thought of my father and/or his mother dying. I know whatever grief I'd feel for the loss of my grandmother won't come anywhere near my cousins' who grew up with her and were preferred by her. At this point my father is closer with one of my cousins than he is with me. Sometimes it hurts, most times it's hard to miss someone who gave me a lot but was never really there.
2. "yeah. i don't feel the same way about really old ppl dying" In response to Reply # 0
as i do about younger ones.
my great-grandfather died at age 97 from aneurysm suffered while he was in church. he died suddenly and felt no pain. he'd lived a long life and was healthy. he had a wife at home where he still took care of himself. he was in church - his favorite activity. his death wasn't a particularly sad occasion for me. i was sad for his wife but that's really about it. his kids were hurt a bit b/c they'd miss their father - but they're senior citizens themselves. this was the order of things - he was SUPPOSED to die and the way he went out was just about perfect. i barely cried or felt any sadness.
6. "true, im more fucked up about friends passing right now" In response to Reply # 2
>as i do about younger ones. > >my great-grandfather died at age 97 from aneurysm suffered >while he was in church. he died suddenly and felt no pain. >he'd lived a long life and was healthy. he had a wife at home >where he still took care of himself. he was in church - his >favorite activity. his death wasn't a particularly sad >occasion for me. i was sad for his wife but that's really >about it. his kids were hurt a bit b/c they'd miss their >father - but they're senior citizens themselves. this was the >order of things - he was SUPPOSED to die and the way he went >out was just about perfect. i barely cried or felt any >sadness.
7. "Everyone deals with grief diffrerently." In response to Reply # 0
If you practice Eastern philosophy such as Buddhism, or Zen Buddhism, you understand that life and death are simply illusions, as there is a greatness and goodness that encircles everything, no matter how tragic it may appear at times. Certain is death for the living, and certain is birth for the dead.
8. "when one of my uncles passed, it was because of the people" In response to Reply # 0 Fri Jan-09-15 02:39 PM by Dr Claw
who were brought together - cousins (blood-related and otherwise) that I hadn't seen in 90 000 years, that don't even show up to funerals even that I was able to feel that way. me moving away from home really separated me from my immediate and extended family in a way that sucked, I realized.
the actual death itself was saddening, esp. in the context of the men in my father's family (to date, two of my father's brothers are the only men remaining in that generation. all the brothers younger and older than them, including my father) are gone.
but I was OK with it, because he had been in a real bad spot for a minute. his health just went to shit. I never knew why. I don't think he was deliberately fucking up, just a horrible tide of luck crashing down at once.
knowing that + seeing all the family, even for once, felt happier than I think I'd seen in a minute
12. "honestly, even in the most positive relationship" In response to Reply # 0
grief has a lot of aspects, and relief is a VERY common attribute of grief. Often, guilt for feeling relief is present, too.
One of the reasons that the death of our pets can hit us really hard is that our relationship with animals is uncomplicated. I can't think of a single person I'm really close to about whom I have completely unmixed emotions. And even if I've never had a disagreement with someone, frequently just knowing that they're out of pain brings relief.
tl;dr: Grief is anything it is. No judgment.
~ ~ ~ All meetings end in separation All acquisition ends in dispersion All life ends in death - The Buddha
14. "im *kinda* going through this...." In response to Reply # 0
my lil cousin has been laid up in the hospital for months now. leukemia.
all kinds of infections along the way.
trying to qualify for some type of clinical trial.
gets in it, only to be told its not working and theres nothing else that can be done.
two young kids, married.
i watch him in the hospital bed, just frail, a shadow of his former self, surrounded by aunties doing the prayer circle thing.
but hes going. i mean soon.
and ive just accepted it.
i mean, i know its fucked up on all levels.
good dude, young wife, young kids, just bought a house and hes never even lived in it. its the type of shit that makes you angry as fuck or just breaks your spirit with sadness.
but i don't feel either. and i like him, i have no ill will towards him...but i know that shit happens. shit like this. to random people. and it just happens to be him right now. and i cant help him, with tears or prayers or conversation. so i am just going on with my life.
15. "I usually feel "OK," I guess" In response to Reply # 0
My one grandmother I was very close to but she lived a long time (94 years) and she was generally very healthy. She suffered very little and went out on her own terms. I was probably the most broken up about that, but I got to spend the last weeks of her life with her and honestly if she was going to die, the whole thing couldn't have gone any better. And, of course, we're all going to die.
My other grandmother was a horrible, abusive person. My mom pretty well protected me from her, but her awfulness cast a long, broad shadow in everyone's life in our family. Apart from my mom having the weird feeling of being an orphan (her dad died way before I was born), I really didn't feel shit. I was almost happy. That sounds fucked up, but this woman was really vicious and cruel.
I had an uncle die and it was kind of like the OP's story. He was a nice enough guy from the little I knew but he had a lot of problems and he was hanging on by a thread for a while. Had serious diabetes and an addiction that made it a lot worse, a lot faster. It was very sad because in a lot of ways, he shortchanged himself in life. But in that sense his life was really sadder than his death. It felt like a release, for him and the people that worried about him.
Same thing with one of my best friends' dad. He was a really weird dude, though he did "cool" things like take us to the Forum for shows and leave his beer lying about. He was a major alcoholic, among other things. Once he led police on a chase for 15 miles with only three tires and ultimately only three wheels. Anyway, he died in pretty gruesome fashion and while I really felt for my friend, it wasn't my place to feel OK or not. But when I went to the funeral, it seemed like a lot of people in his family were just relieved that the call they were expecting finally came. It was kind of surreal.
The two times I have felt really bad and wanted to support the grieving parties, I pretty much came up empty.
I had a friend who died last year. He looked vaguely like me (of course much was made of this by our frat brothers) and while we were a lot different, we had things in common in college (mostly weed). Anyway, he had a lot of problems but he was a genuinely sweet kid who always seemed like he might be on the verge of turning his shit around. BANG, dead, 34 years old. I tried to reach out to his family, send them some messages and a lot of kosher food and later a card. Nothing. Not even a thank-you note. They were very conservative people, I guess they have been very guarded about the whole thing.
When I was in college my aunt got cancer and died. Then a year later, while his daughter was driving, her husband had a heart attack and died. I tried really hard to reach out to my cousin. She was a year younger than me, also in college. We knew each other well when we were young, like my parents were her godparents and all that. I felt terrible for her both times, but especially after she lost her dad because now she had no one. She became, maybe understandably, real withdrawn socially and from family for a while. She is a super successful person, I guess she just threw herself into her work. To this day, we really don't have a relationship. Maybe three years after it happened I finally talked to her about it and gave her a hug. It felt really empty. She dealt with it in her own way, I guess. Even now she is pretty strange, very much two different people outwardly and privately. I wish I could have done more but she managed to find the support she needed elsewhere, which is what matters.
And you will know MY JACKET IS GOLD when I lay my vengeance upon thee.