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Author Topic: C'est un peu bizarre.  (Read 1828 times)

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Offline aupointillimite

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  • Posts: 3,229
  • FUS DO RAH!
C'est un peu bizarre.
« on: March 11, 2007, 05:08:21 AM »
OK... before I begin... I am a) a little tipsy, and b) in no need of sympathy... because the people I am going to describe were never all that close to me... so it's not hard for me to deal with what's been going on.

On Wednesday, I learned that someone I knew... he wasn't quite a friend... but we were on friendly terms, and I've known him since 2002... died.

He was only a couple of years older than me.  He was gay... and it wasn't AIDS.  He had some sort of odd blood disease, had gotten a transplant, and from what I've heard... it sounds like he had a bad immune reaction to the marrow transplant and died quite unexpectedly.  I had known him for close to five years... he had been the boyfriend of a friend of mine.  Like I said, I never hung out with him... we said hi and exchanged pleasantries when we saw each other out... but that was essentially the extent of our interaction.  Nothing more than that... Liz worked with him for more than a year and is quite upset... but I've known this guy since I was almost 20. 

My sister called me this evening to let me know that my great-uncle (my grandmother's brother) died from renal failure.  We were never that close either. 

Two people who I've known in some capacity have died within three days of each other.

And... as horrible as this sounds... I am being brutally honest here... I don't feel much of anything about either one.

Part of me feels like I should feel something visceral, like... this is supposed to acquaint me better with my own mortality... but even when I try to view it terms of that (a method which I find far too selfish, even for me)... it still seems far away.  I'm sad and sympathetic for the people who are affected... but I'm not sad about it...  I feel strangely aloof from this... not just aloof... but unconcerned.   

I don't know if this is my youth talking... or denial... or something else. 

I pride myself on not being in denial about anything... I mean, I think I know that if I live long enough, I will more than likely eventually die because of my HIV infection.  I'm strangely comfortable with that knowledge.  But I would expect the deaths of people that I know (the first, incidentally, since my diagnosis) to effect me on some profound level.

And yet, they haven't.

I feel sort of inhuman... in the most negative sense of the word.

Some part of me thinks I should evaluate my life or feel something over the deaths of these fellow humans who have touched my life, albeit in the most superficial manners... and yet... I don't feel much of anything over them... 

I can't tell if I'm being realistic or stoic or horrible or narcissistic or something else.  And it's bothering me.  A lot.

I just wish I knew how to feel about this... but I don't feel anything about the events themselves... just, as I said, sympathy for those affected... and I'm not affected.

What the fuck?
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: C'est un peu bizarre.
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2007, 04:28:35 AM »
And... as horrible as this sounds... I am being brutally honest here... I don't feel much of anything about either one.

This is not a bad thing.

There is nothing worse than false sympathy and crocodile tears. It sounds to Matty the Damned as if these were people to whom you were not terribly close and your feelings are appropriate given the circumstances. You demonstrate respect for their passing and sensitivity to your friend or friends who do grieve.

Don't let this disturb you.

MtD
(Who has been similarly detached at the passing of acquaintances)

Offline aupointillimite

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Re: C'est un peu bizarre.
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2007, 04:33:16 AM »
And... as horrible as this sounds... I am being brutally honest here... I don't feel much of anything about either one.

This is not a bad thing.

There is nothing worse than false sympathy and crocodile tears. It sounds to Matty the Damned as if these were people to whom you were not terribly close and your feelings are appropriate given the circumstances. You demonstrate respect for their passing and sensitivity to your friend or friends who do grieve.

Don't let this disturb you.

MtD
(Who has been similarly detached at the passing of acquaintances)

Thank you.

It's a bit of an odd situation... one in which I don't quite know how to react or what to feel, you know? 

And I think it would be more disrespectful to make a production of grief I don't really feel rather than respect those who are genuinely grieving.

But I suppose there's some part of me which is responding to a sort of cultural training which demands that I feel something... and even if I don't... to act like I do... I shall just do what you said, which was my gut reaction in the first place... respect those who are grieving, and personally feel what I will... or won't.
Your tastebuds can't repel flavor of this magnitude!

Offline newone

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Re: C'est un peu bizarre.
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2007, 06:59:31 AM »
For the sole reason of feeling the need to write your post in the first instance I think you have been touched by the departure of your acquaintances and probably feel a lot more than you ever want to admit you do.
Sustiva, Truvada
cd 212 Mar 04
cd 265 May 04 (started meds)
cd 389 Jun  04
cd 504 Oct  04
cd 449 Dec 04
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cd 737 Sep 08 27% Atripla
cd 648 Jan  09 27%
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cd 875 May 13 32% Eviplera
cd 845 Jul 13  30% und.

Offline mjmel

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Re: C'est un peu bizarre.
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2007, 07:01:52 AM »
You are true to your own feelings and thoughts while respecting those of others (whenever possible) so there is nothing inappropriate with your lack of mourning. You simply weren't close to either individual.

Offline sweetasmeli

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Re: C'est un peu bizarre.
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2007, 08:13:52 AM »
From all the posts I have read of yours and from what my gut instinct tells me about you Benj, apart from the fact that you are obviously a very smart and witty individual, I can conclude 2 things:

1) You are in no way inhuman and 2) you are very realistic.

I think your reaction is either:
A) A normal reaction to news of the deaths of people you had no immediate connection or emotional ties to or B) A normal reaction - as someone less shockable now - given your albeit youthful but abundant and eye-opening life you have lived so far.

OK I seem to be going with pairs today - as opposed to my usual favoured triplets - so here goes. Two events spring to my mind, where I felt confounded yet also strangely resolute with my reactions:

1) Hearing not-so-good news about my father's health last summer, which could have meant a possible life/death situation for him. Being in different countries, my mum told me over the phone. She was saying stuff like "Don't get upset...". And I, well, wasn't. I was very calm and pragmatic, asking all the appropriate questions and I didn't even wobble after I hung up. Or in the weeks that followed. However, when my dad came to visit me here in Greece later that summer - health thing under control and no longer life-threatening - the moment I saw him, I flung my arms around him and cried. I was so relieved to be able to hug him and tell him how much I loved him in person.

Event #2 happened last week: The elderly mother of my Greek friend here died. He called me to tell me and, during the call, mentioned the funeral. Now funerals here in Greece are pretty big things with most of the local community going to the house to visit the bereaved and also to see the body (ick!). Anyway, Melia doesn't fare well with funerals at the best of times. I find them icky and, if not absolutely necessary, avoids them like the plague. So, as  I hadn't known his mother at all, hadn't even met her AND taking my incredible ickiness into consideration, I didn't want to go. So I didn't. And Iwas honest with my friend about the whys. Though I did um and ah over it briefly out of loyalty/sympathy for him.

[---We interrupt this broadcast to give thanks to Brent for helping Melia out of her quandry btw--- :-*]   

Anyway, my point (I think) is this: You are not inhuman. Far from it. Your humanity - as well as your humour - sparkles on these forums, and breathes many breaths of (sometimes much needed) fresh air through them too. And you are realistic. You are also - as mjmel has already noted - true to your own feelings while respecting those of others. It's often way too easy to sit up and beg or rollover, like the trained puppies society endeavours to make us be. It takes immense strength of character, intelligence and integrity for a person not to do that.  I salute anyone who refuses to be a slave to society.

You said it yourself, it would be far more disrespectful to those who are genuinely grieving for you to pretend to be grieving. Not to mention, disrepectful to yourself and what you are actually feeling.

Your reaction could be down to that lack of emotional connection. Or it could be that your outlook and/or your life experiences so far - as with many of us - have rendered you less shockable. But it certainly is not because you are inhuman; your other posts are testament of that. Your feelings may change in time, or may come to light with a different edge at a later time - as they did when I saw my dad. Human nature is strange like that sometimes. Meanwhile like Matty said, don't let this disturb you.

Melia
(who had to use a dictionary more than once with this post ::))
/\___/\       /\__/\
(=' . '=)    (=' . '=)
(,,,_ ,,,)/   (,,,_ ,,,)/ Cats rule!

The difference between cats and dogs is that dogs come when called, whereas cats take a message and get back to you.

Yeia kai hara (health and happiness) to everyone!

Offline koi1

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  • Posts: 713
Re: C'est un peu bizarre.
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2007, 11:04:16 AM »
I have gone to many  funerals where the primary reason was to comfort those left behind. When my first cousin died of a heart attack at a very young age I was sad for my aunt and my other cousins, but I can't say that I cried or anything for this guy because I never really knew him that well. I knew who he was and he was perfectly nice to me whenever I would visit the family, but I did not think about it for too long. I was there mostly to comfort the family, and my mother who knew him a lot better. 

My neighbor's mother died, and my sister dragged me to the funeral because she had gotten to know her well. I went to comfort my sister and the son, but again I did not know the lady, so the sadness was more felt because of the people left behind.

A fellow teacher lost her husband, and there I was at the funeral to comfort and be supportive. I met her husband a few times and he seemed like a nice enough fellow. It was at the funeral that I got a little more dpths of who he was. But again the most important thing was the support.

So my advice is to provide comfort for those truly affected. That is always appreciated, and seldom forgotten.

rob
« Last Edit: March 11, 2007, 11:08:22 AM by koi1 »
diagnosed on 11/20/06 viral load 23,000  cd4 97    8%
01/04/07 six weeks after diagnosis vl 53,000 cd4 cd4 70    6%
Began sustiva truvada 01/04/07
newest labs  drawn on 01/15/07  vl 1,100    cd4 119    7%
Drawn 02/10/07
cd4=160 viral load= 131 percentage= 8%
New labs 3/10/07 (two months on sustiva truvada
cd4 count 292  percentage 14 viral load undetectable

Offline Ihavehope

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  • Posts: 1,366
  • Yes, I'm a cry baby, AND WHAT?
Re: C'est un peu bizarre.
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2007, 11:15:57 AM »
Hey aupo

I don't see a reason why you should cry for someone who you were not close to unless you are a person who cries over everything. You should actually be a little relieved that it hasn't affected you much. Your normal dood.

Al
Infected: April 2005
12/6/06 - Diagnosed HIV positive
12/19/06 - CD4 = 240  22% VL = 26,300
1/4/07 - CD4 = 200 16% VL = ?
2/9/07 = Started Kaletra/Truvada
3/13/07 = CD4 = 386 22% VL ?

Offline Bucko

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    • The Spin Cycle
Re: C'est un peu bizarre.
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2007, 11:25:58 AM »
Benj-

Compartmentalizing feelings is a normal and healthy way of approaching situations such as these. Trust me, when you experience a loss that hits closer to your heart, you'll feel it.

Brent
(Who knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em)
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

 


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