Saturday, December 1, 2012

Grief and New Perspectives

Grief is probably going to be the most constant trend on this blog for quite a while.

Let me explain a little, in case you don't know me.

My brother, Devin, died in a car crash on July 2, 2012 (almost five months ago). He was my only sibling, he was less than 15 months younger than I am (23 when he died). I will explain more about it in the future, but this isn't that day.

Today I just want to kind of mull over how his death has changed a lot in the world for me. My heart has always been pretty soft, I have always had a large sense of empathy. I am a bleeding-hearted person - at least I think so. But I have never really dealt with death before this... I have had great-grandparents pass away, but I didn't get to go to their funerals (I think my mom was trying to shelter me, maybe too much). I have heard of acquaintances or old friends dying, and sometimes they hurt more than others, but still they never really hit home.

So, this death has really changed me. I am so indignant at the world now, so mortified by the idea of "optional" deaths. I don't know if that's the best word for it, but I mean death that has come about as the result of someone else's choice. Death penalties, wars, murders... stuff like that. They are so unjust to me, and I can hardly bear the thought that someone would dare support one group of people systematically taking away other people's lives over an idea or ideology.

I know that this is not actually something I would wish on anyone, but part of me wishes that everyone could experience deep, personal, sudden loss and grief. I think that if this happened, people would be so much kinder to others and more respectful of life. I know it would have different effects on different people, but I still think most people would have a softer heart in the end, and would be more prone to advocacy for the oppressed and weak. I wish I could live in that world, where every death was a tragedy for everyone because everyone is someone's daughter, son, sister, brother, mother, father, friend, lover.

Then again, I don't know if this changed outlook is always for the best. It makes me more sensitive to deaths, but sometimes it makes me indignant when people try to compare their own losses to mine. Sometimes it makes me want to avoid people or organizations if I know that they will try to justify wars and deaths, or if they believe that some lives are worth more than others. This sort of thing is difficult to me, because I don't and can't reach that same conclusion anymore (if I ever could at all). I get frustrated that those ideas exist and I get frustrated that I can't change them. I get disgusted by the very idea of it and I don't want to be around those people at all. The unfortunate thing for me is, most people believe in some sort of justified "optional" death - in some way. And unfortunately, now I am ultra-sensitive to picking out remarks about that sort of thing. If someone makes a slight reference to being pro-war, my mind decides immediately that there is something not to like about that person. Does that even make sense? I don't know.

I guess that's most of what I was thinking about today. A friend of mine had a sister-in-law pass away, and even though I had never even met this girl, I started crying about it. My whole cycle of being indignant about death started up again, though I don't know what happened to this girl. I am kind of like a bucket of tears just waiting for another loss to mourn over. I know this isn't entirely healthy, but that's where I am right now.

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