not dead yet!

My friend P is in the waiting game. A parent is ill, and has been for a few years. Setbacks, recoveries, gathering the family to say goodbye, waiting, recoveries, setbacks ... hospitals, rehab, hospitals, nursing home.

A couple of days ago, P went to a funeral for a friend's father and felt miserable through the whole thing. She's appalled to discover that when someone else's parent keeled over, her main emotion is envy. She sat in a crowd of weeping people and wished it was her parent in there. She said that the worst part is that she knows a lot of the desire to have it over and done with rises from pure selfishness.

Not exactly a fun thing to learn about oneself. Yup, I remember wishing the process would end, and feeling guilty about the desire to have it end. Bleh. Sucks, dude. But I'm guessing it's pretty common.

Now that I'm seeing someone else living it, fretting over that element in a whole tangle of emotion seems almost silly because it makes so much sense. The longing to say goodbye to suffering isn't Evil. The only possible evil in the situation might be slipping an unwilling parent a black pill. A more common and perhaps more cowardly evil may be staying away because you can't bear to witness the suffering. I was guilty of that one now and then, too--but only now and then.

This stuff does not keep me up at nights. Why do I bother writing about it? Maybe because when P talked to me, she was almost whispering, as if this were the worst thing in the world. I figure it's bordering on verboten. Time to write about it then.


  1. Shirin12:46 PM

    Thank you for writing about P. I hadn't thought that someone could feel jealous of death, but once you've written about it, it makes sense. I hope she works out a way to forgive herself for having the emotion she has no control over anyway. Death is intense.

    I tend towards the totally selfish bit of: you can't be grieving as much as I am. I am missing the person more than you could ever imagine because I was liked/loved more than you while the person was alive. How gross! It always comes up, and everytime I find myself thinking trash like that I'm surprised all over again at what crap the spleen can produce.

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  3. damn, that sucks. the whole message went.

    Basically it was a "gack, what a pain in the tuchus useless emotion is" sort of message to Shirin. But I don't think any emotion is crap or good. It just...exists. It's what you do about it (or how you loathe someone or yourself) that makes the permanent marks.

    I'm sorry you lost someone you loved and who loved you. That's all, really.

  4. Thank you Kate.

    It is all about acting on the emotion. After all, the emotion isn't going to go away or change itself; it just is. And we all can decide not to follow up on some wretched feeling. And that makes all the difference in the world.



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