Say Something

I’ve just suffered a good bit of loss, and am forever changed by the suffering of others. Now I’m home, getting back to normal (relatively speaking), and I’m thinking that my first day back to work will be a little weird, a little hard, but altogether comforting.

Four people spoke to me on Monday. Two of which would never, ever dream of not checking in and catching up. The other two were the two I probably could have predicted would have been warm and welcoming. The entire rest of the company avoided even making eye contact with me as we passed by each other.

I don’t know if I can really explain how incredibly devastating that was to me. I felt invisible. Invisible. Because I work a second job making mountains out of molehills, this immediately translated to the reception I would have if I had been widowed myself. Or, frankly, if I had died. I mean, I’m talking about some serious Cipher in the Snow level isolation here.

Auntie and a few other people pointed out that other people probably just didn’t even know what to say. It probably reminds them of their own mortality. They’re afraid of upsetting me. Also, apparently I am intimidating, which goes to show you that anyone can be intimidating, even when their socks are always weird and they cry frequently.

I made a point of speaking to a few people yesterday, and they cracked open like eggs. They were just waiting for me to say something to them, and it didn’t occur to me to do that. I hardly thought that people would not know what to say to me, or if they even should say anything to me.

A coworker from our other office came in today. She walked into my office and made a joke about my month. We laughed, and then we talked about what happened and she told me a story about something she had gone through. She said she wasn’t worried about exactly what she would say, because she knew that I would appreciate the absurdity- what do you say?

Personally, I have always believed that if you can’t laugh at something, you’re really fucked. That’s where my dark sense of humor comes from. My appreciation of the absurdity, the awkwardness, the truly awful things in life. I know that some people find dark humor very hurtful or offensive, and I never, ever mean any disrespect. I’m also not willing to live with the dissodence unspoken.

That jumble of mixed thoughts and emotions that tumbles through our heads innocently but are hardly ever spoken? I’m not afraid of it, nor am I ashamed of it. Ask me if I’m happy to be back, and I will tell you- it beats the hell out of urn shopping. I don’t tell you that to make you feel bad, or to remind myself of how truly horrific that specific experience was. I say it because it’s true, and to me, at least, funny.

One of my sister’s friends admitted to me that she was afraid of dealing with her now, because this friend is not a nurturing, cry with you, kiss your boo boo kind of friend. She’s a kick someone’s ass for you, bring you breakfast and tell you that your table manners are lacking kind of friend. Sarcastic. Also a fan of the dark humor. I told her- my sister needs you. She needs normal. She needs honest. She’ll have more than enough boo boo kissers and crying partners. She needs someone to say “at least you never have to worry about the toilet seat anymore”.

Even if you’re not a fan of the dark humor, the next time you see someone after they’ve suffered a loss or experienced tragedy? Don’t make them reach out to you and put you at ease. They’ve been through enough. Do that one thing for them, if you care a bit about them. Say something. Anything.

What is most interesting to me is that is you, my super lovely interwebz, who came out in droves to show the love. Childhood friends on the Facebook, close bloggy friends, treasured freaders- all lined up to say that you loved me, that you were sorry, that you were ready, willing and able to help. This makes my heart nearly burst with love and comfort. I love you too, interwebz. I just hope you’re dedicated enough to bring me a ham if MH kicks it….. cause otherwise I’ll be subsisting off of R & B’s offerings, which are likely to be organic wheat grass and instant pudding. 😉

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5 Responses

  1. I totally agree with you, laughing at the absurdities, tragedies, and darkness life throws our way, is a necessity. I don’t know what I would do without that dark humor in my life.

    Brilliant post, as usual.
    Much love,

  2. People are pussies, plain and simple. They’re scared of bereavement and the bereaved. They’d rather approach Barack Obama or Mel Gibson than someone who’s just lost a spouse or a parent.

    It’s just our way. It’s what makes us imperfect, human, stupid and beautiful.

  3. oh, good post.

    i’m glad the week has gotten better. i’m glad people are coming out of their shells. i’m glad life manages to go on 🙂

    way to get through it, missy. you’re a pretty incredible lady.

  4. This is such a good reminder – to say something. I think so many people, like you said, are scared to say the wrong thing, but I’ve learned that most people want to talk. Also – ass-kicker friends are best because they do bring that normalcy to life. Glad to hear you’re getting back to “normal” whatever that may be 😉

  5. “Personally, I have always believed that if you can’t laugh at something, you’re really fucked.” I couldn’t agree more.

    No one knows what to say. Or whether the other person is ready to talk about anything. It’s such an eggshell operation.

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