I’m still not sure how I feel about death.

Death is a common thing. I’m used to it happening.

However, every time someone dies, it really throws me for a loop. I’m caught between figuring out how I actually feel about it and figuring out if I feel anything in particular about it. When I was a little girl, and up to my high school years, I’d cry and cry over death, write depressing poetry and lyrics, possibly throw tantrums/have meltdowns, and mope around. Now, I try to think of that person in their best state, because that is how I would want to be remembered.

But when someone dies, time both stops and speeds up. People are sad and crying, yet they’re quickly putting together funeral arrangements. The week after the person’s passing, they’re either already in the ground or cremated, depending on the preferences1, and already, people are moving on with their lives. There’s nothing slow about it.

Someone dies, arrangements are made, and then it’s back to life. Over and over and over again.

And I just don’t understand it. Then again, I don’t apply feelings to things automatically. Death is confusing for me as far as feelings go; I don’t know what I feel or anything, so maybe I just find it so normal for someone to die, because isn’t it normal? Death happens, we can’t live forever, and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.

It’s no lie bloggers don’t share everything that happens in their lives, and I’m no exception. Shortly after she moved here and after Papa passed away, my grandmother on my stepmother’s side was diagnosed with cancer, and she passed away during the last hour of 25th January, 2015.

She alphabetized letters in words2 in her head (without paper/writing it down), told funny and embarrassing stories of my step mom, and was a really nice, sweet person who had a lot of acceptance for people and was fun to be around.

And that’s how I’ll remember her. I didn’t have the chance to see her after she was diagnosed with cancer3, so I don’t have an ill image I’ll spend years and years trying to forget like I do with Mama Lois and Papa.

But it’s all so rushed. People want to get on with their lives as soon as possible. They don’t stop to think about how they may or may not feel — they needn’t try; they know how they feel.

When I cried all those years ago, I was simply mimicking those around me. I was sad because I was told I should be sad.

Maybe now I just don’t cry because I also can’t cry. I haven’t been able to cry in over four months, though I’m not sure what the deal is with that. According to House, M.D. (and also the reason I can’t bear watching it anymore), I might have some form of CIPA, or maybe some other worse thing.

But that’s not the point. People are in such a rush to live that they are so wrapped up in their feelings and don’t actually live… or maybe they do. I’m not one of those people who understands feelings, so perhaps I never will.

It’s just really weird to me, and it’s extremely annoying when people blame the way I am reacting to my age. I’ve experienced immense amounts of trauma in my life. To me, death is a less traumatic experience than being lost. I can’t help it, because it’s what I’ve been exposed to and experienced.

I guess I just don’t understand how people can live life with death being the most traumatic thing they experience as a whole.

Maybe I’m just numb to the pain, thus the way death is then handled feels rushed to me.

I’m not sure if this is an Aspie thing or not.

  1. Unless they’ve donated their organs/bodies to science/etc.
  2. ALPHABETIZED = ABEDHILPTZ; LETTERS = ELRST; WORDS = DORSW. Duplicate letters do not repeat.
  3. I also wasn’t invited, so I just assumed I wasn’t part of the picture, I dunno. (But I know she loved me.)

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Comments on this post

Leah’s gravatar

I think it makes sense that you don’t think of death as much of a tragedy as others do. Death isn’t the worst thing to happen, especially when the person passing away has lived a long and fruitful live. Many trials in life are much harder than death, and since you’ve experienced them, death doesn’t seem like the worst to you anymore. 🙁

I don’t think you have congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis though haha. It’s an inherited disorder in which you never feel any physical pain and you cannot ever sweat. It doesn’t have anything to do with the shedding of tears. I haven’t watched House, but generally TV shows are pretty good at stretching medical conditions. 😛

Anyway, I’m a fairly new reader. Hi. 🙂

Christine’s gravatar

First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. Death is never easy and you make a good point. We cry and act certain ways because that’s what we know. Funerals and all of the planning aren’t for the person who passed away…they are for us. The ones left behind who want and need comfort. Death is such a complex subject here in our house because Keith works in the industry. So, he sees death every day, 40 hours a week and I hear about it just as often. I also think that others need to stop blaming you/commenting on/offering advice on how to grieve. I don’t think reacting to death in a certain way has anything to do with age. We all grieve differently (when my childhood pet died I made a scrapbook, when my Aunt passed away I went to the mall and spent money, and when my Grandma died I cooked a turkey alone in my house and Keith thought I lost it).

Queenie (Bubblez)’s gravatar

I am sorry for your loss. I also agree that you feel confused about death. I sometimes also don’t understand it and questions about death but like you, I recognize that we don’t live forever.

People around me have died but I was never invited to go to a funeral and then sometimes when we go back to China, we always visit my grandfather and grandmother’s graves.. Not sure why but it’s like this tradition. But like you, I’m not really sure how I am suppose to react to it.

Agent Q’s gravatar

I can’t speak for anyone in particular because I have yet to bear the news of anyone [close to me] dying. However, my closest experience is this good friend of mine who took away his own life. The way I processed the information dealt more about with the shock of someone disappearing rather than the lingering effects.

In your case though, even with death being closer to home, I don’t think you’re alone in this. I do believe that there are things worse than death even though death is permanent. In fact, I think the reason people treat death as a bigger thing than life’s triggers [that cause trauma for some] is because death is permanent while people still live through traumatic events. This might be why people are far more reactive to deaths at an initial stage than they are to other incidents.

In the end, I don’t think anyone can fully articulate their thoughts on death. It is a very nuanced concept. :/

On a side note, my blog URL has moved to http://express.ribboned.net. I also anticipate getting a domain at some point. I’ll keep you posted. 🙂

Holland’s gravatar

I think it all depends on the relationship a person has with the deceased, and how/why they passed. I was pretty upset when my cousin’s boyfriend’s dog Lucy died, because I had some pretty great memories of her–walking her, playing with her, sneakily feeding her scraps of food, etc. But when an uncle passed, I wasn’t really affected because he had been ill for so long that I literally couldn’t remember a time when he wasn’t out of it. I don’t even remember ever speaking with him.

Another uncle passed a few years ago, just a couple of weeks before my birthday, and that was much harder because I felt quite close to him. I was a wreck on the day of his funeral service, to the point of sobbing in the restroom and getting physically ill.

I don’t really feel anything when it comes to death and dying, even when it comes to my own family. I don’t think it’s strange or odd to be so unaffected by it, and I think it’s really weird and annoying that people are expected to always be saddened by death no matter what.