Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Dealing with death is hard enough without having to suffer the indignities of hovering vultures and morbid curiosities of voyeurs.
Human vultures want to pick your life clean and leave nothing but bones in their wake, and the voyeurs want to pick your brain to satisfy their morbid curiosities about the death process itself. Trying to deal with the 2 are exhausting as the voyeurs always seem to show up while you are wearing yourself out beating back the vultures.
Admittedly, vultures are important in the process of clean-up and moving forward … I’m just not ready yet to have my life picked clean down to bare bones.
Voyeurs, on the other hand, are neither necessary – or welcome – during this personal time of heart-wrenching transition. Voyeurs are more annoying than the circling vultures. Vultures are willing to wait for their turn at you … voyeurs dishonestly shroud themselves with wrapping of goodwill and barge in uninvited with their judgmental morbid curiosities.
Vultures hover around the stench of death in various expected forms: funeral directors, Grief~Share Support Groups, Grief Counselors, ect. – all waiting to “help you though this most difficult time” and to strip your life bare of any remembrance at all of your previous life with “your dearly departed”. These vultures are viewed by many as a necessary interference into your life seriously turned upside down and shaken. I am not so sure I want to be stripped bare of remembrances. So I stand guard over the corpse of my previous life and beat the vultures back.
Voyeurs show up in unexpected forms – family, friends, and acquaintances; all breathlessly curious about “those final moments” and wanting you to relive over and over again those moments you want to move on from. I am glad I was there for my husband when he took his last breath … but I do not want to describe it to anyone else in living color. I do not want to see it in my mind’s eye over and over again.
Now I understand that the voyeurs are curious … and they are probably dealing with end-of-life situations themselves and are searching for information, BUT I find it very insensitive and highly offensive that they would call me and inquire of a newly grieving widow the most intimate details of my husband’s final moments.
And then their morbid curiosities are always followed up with a stupid comment like, “At least he died loving you.”
I want to shout, “BUT HE DIED JUST THE SAME!” That he died loving me doesn’t make his death any less painful, or comforting to me. He is no longer here with me. THAT is my new reality. I KNOW he died loving me – he told me that every day for 44 years, and even while he was dying. But knowing he died loving me doesn’t help ease my heartache when my eyes yearn to see him and my ears strain to hear his voice: and I know that I will never see him again, or hear his voice. I do not want to relieve those final moments in the hospital to help prepare family or friends, or acquaintances for their end-of-life experiences. It is personal. It is not fodder for the morbidly curious.
Yes, I know where my husband is now. And I have joy knowing that. BUT I also miss him here. And I have sorrow knowing that I will never see, touch, or hear him again this side of Heaven. My husband’s physical death left unplanned changes in my present, and my future. My husband’s physical death significantly changed my financial situation. My husband’s death altered e.v.e.r.y.s.i.n.g.l.e.t.h.i.n.g. about my life. But voyeurs don’t want to hear about that part of death.
Voyeurs are generally self-indulgent people who think they own a corner on suffering and want to pick your brain on how you are dealing with your suffering. They aren’t calling so much to comfort you … but more to find a way to comfort themselves with your pain. I know – it sounds wacky. But voyeurs are wacky people who feed on drama trauma.
Death involves grief. Grief is trauma. Trauma can lead to drama if you let it.
Death is heartbreaking on a level that is indescribable. Yet, voyeurs hunger for a tantalizing description of your heartache.
There are no words to describe what it feels like to sit in a funeral home and make end of life arrangements for a person who was your whole world until an hour ago. But those are the words voyeurs call and fish for while you, yourself, are casting around for a life-line in the turbulent and choppy waters of widowhood.
I don’t want to hear that I am lucky my husband died loving me.
My heart hurts. My mind hurts.
I am in pain.
My pain is not on the same measurable scale as a voyeur’s pain because my pain isn’t imaginable – it is real. And I threw the pain scale out in December 2018. I am not measuring pain anymore. I am not comparing pain anymore.
When we measure things, we miss the opportunity to just love one another and support one another through life’s hardest moments. I don’t measure another person’s heartache because my sorrowing journey is different than anyone else’s. We are all unique and our chosen life course is unique. Our pain is unique. And the way we deal with that pain is unique.
I am sorry that our human lives involve pain as well as love.
I am sorry that our human lives take unexpected turns that lead to experiencing pain.
I refuse to compare miseries.
Life is difficult regardless of the road you chose to travel – but it won’t get any easier to travel if one becomes bitter, angry, or carries a grief scale.
Regardless of how death forever changed your present and your future, do not let it stop you from making the most of the moments you have been given to live out the rest of your life.
Grieve for what was and what will never be. Take time for yourself to grow in ways you never imagined you would have to grow; learn and evolve.
Part of personal growth evolution means that you let go of someone else’s silly statements, clueless opinions, and aimless comments made by people in the middle of their own unique storms.
Since the end of August 2018, I have experienced enough of life’s heartaches to know that I do not hold a corner on pain – nor do I want to own a piece of it. At some point in time everyone ends up there.
Regardless of your personal storm and the life circumstances that brought that storm to you, I sincerely hope you learn to dance in the rain and learn to fully live the life you have left.
We are all here for a reason; all of us.