At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I’m going to write out the list of things that I really wish people would stop saying to me. To be entirely honest, I don’t really feel like talking to anyone about anything, but all these phrases have become more annoying than comforting.
I understand being awkward in these situations. I barely know what to say when someone’s dog dies. But everyone I know reads from the same script.
- I’m sorry for your loss. Kyle was not some thing that I am now unable to retrieve. He’s not a yo-yo.
- Now is a good time to dance it out. No it’s fucking not. You can dance off a bad test score or a shitty argument with your boss. You can’t dance off the death of a (young) loved one. I have never been emotionally motivated to move, anyway.
- You’ll see him again some day. I just grimace and keep quiet with this one because I don’t believe in a god or heaven. I think he’s just gone. I wish I believed this, and being told this every fourteen seconds is enough to drive anyone batty.
- He’s not suffering anymore. Well, while he had a PIC line in his arm, he wasn’t really “suffering.” I wasn’t him, and I can’t say for sure, but it’s not like he was an infirm, elderly person who was tired of battling cancer. Kyle had his driver’s license, he went out with his friends, he took trips (and had just visited me in PDX a week before he collapsed) and he was physically active. He didn’t lay in bed and want to die. He fought so hard.
- Well, you were sort of expecting this weren’t you? Wow, because that makes it any better? What a fucking rude thing to say to someone. He was a teenage boy, not a fucking pet bunny rabbit. As explained above, no, we were NOT expecting this and I have no idea why anyone would think this is an okay thing to say.
- You’re a bad sister by moving so far away from him. Because Kyle wanted me to get my nursing degree from NIC and hang out in Post Falls when he knew my ambitions. Uh huh. All of my family was entirely supportive in me moving out to pursue my career. And Kyle was doing so well, living pretty normally, so it’s not like I left when he was at his deathbed. I flew back to Spokane as fast as I could after he collapsed.
- You should come to church. Maybe you should mind your own fucking business instead of trying to convert me to a religion I think is silly. The person who said this never inquired about my or my family’s well being, he just wanted me to be a dutiful Christian, as well as trying to nose his way into my family’s personal life (because my parents go to different churches).
My brother was so amazing. I will write more about him when I am able, and perhaps right now I’m just in a long term pissed off and angry phrase. So many people have come out in support of him and my family and I am SO GRATEFUL for that. I am also tired of the people whose concern is not genuine, though, and I think that it’s those people who end up saying the above things because they haven’t actually thought how this affected any of us.
This tragedy has reminded me that life is always going to end. We have to live. This doesn’t mean taking extreme risks every day and not paying our bills, but it means that when we really want something, we should go for it. There’s no prize for dying with the most money or the biggest house or the top title. It means that we should tell the people we love that we do love them instead of just assuming they know. It means we should get outside and be in the sunshine and experience what the world has to offer. There is so much beauty around us, and we should appreciate that while we’re here. So cliche, so true.