We just recently had a gentleman at my office die suddenly. He literally went home for lunch and when his wife came home for her lunch she found him dead in the bathroom from what we assume was a heart attack. The shock/grief was apparently enough to put her in the hospital.
I did like this gentleman a lot, in spite of the fact that he was very Old School and had certain ideas about the roles of women in society. Not that he thought they should be in the home or anything, but that women were always in supporting roles in the workplace, not managers in their own right. That being said, he was a man who would literally do anything that he could for anyone. So I am sad that he died. I've known him for nearly half my life.
But...here's the thing. I do not understand this crippling grief. And I absolutely factor into this the fact that while I knew him and liked him, I did not love him. I am in no way trying to compare the sadness that I feel at his death to what his family is feeling. What I'm saying is that I completely fail to comprehend the kind of grief that doesn't allow you to function.
I've lost people who were close to me. I've sat and cried and screamed and thrown things because it hurts and I miss them. But that was an hour, maybe two at the most. Then I got on with my life, still missing them, but functioning.
Every time I hear or see something about crippling grief I just want to ask, 'Really? They can't get out of their bed because xxx died? What's wrong with them?' I want to reach out and *shake* these people until they get up off their butts and start doing what needs to be done. Life goes on, the world's still turning. Why do they think they have the luxury to wallow in their pain as though nothing needs to be dealt with?
I get that this is a terrible attitude for me to have, and I promise that unless it's one of my own relatives (or the middle of a zombie apocalypse wherein I really need that person), I will never ever actually shake a grieving person and shout at them to stop freaking crying and get their ass in gear. I'm not saying that they should 'get over it' because I know that grief doesn't work that way.
I just...I don't get this reaction to death. How can they be so completely tied up in another person that their death destroys them?
I don't understand, is basically what I'm saying, and I don't feel bad about not being able to be more sympathetic towards people who react like this. I am utterly mystified by it, to be honest and suspect that one or the other of us may have an emotional imbalance. I'm not even laying money on which one.