Hello, my name is Lindsay, I am 24 years old and I am one of the newest members of the “Dead Parents Club”
Haven’t heard of it you say?
Well you see, this is a very exclusive and almost “secret” kind of club. It is secret in the way that the topics surrounding the commonalities in the group are feared by people lucky enough to excluded. In fact, the topic is almost taboo to discuss when in the public eye. The root cause for this growing membership is something that people may largely fear, have nightmares about, and frankly, decide it is easier to pretend that this topic just doesn’t exist.
I know I was one of these people.
Once I officially became a member of this secret club, I quickly realized that only the strongest of the strong form the makeup of this group. You see, this is never a club people wish to be involved in, but somehow we all ended up here at a young age. The group is not widely known, but once you meet another member from this secret society, it’s as if an instant bond is formed. You suddenly realize that this person understands almost exactly what you are or have been through. They understand the tears, sadness, chaos, madness, stress — which, is all so oddly surrounded by a blanket of silence that non-members inadvertently place upon us. Grief is an enormous load to bear but it is also a silent phenomena that deeply shakes the core of the people who it has sunk its sharp claws into, while simultaneously silencing those who it has chose to spare. Members can go through these phases of grief, but for god sakes don’t show it in public…things can get awkward.
Death. Someone you love is dead. Gone and never coming back. That is what it all boils down to. It happens everyday, so why is this topic of death never talked about before or after the big event happens?
My dad was sick. It happened fast and out of nowhere. When the news came, people that I thought I was closest to seemed to run for the hills and I received nothing but silence. But others (a lot who I haven’t seen in years), helped me out in ways that I appreciate so much, words will never do justice. The night of Sunday October 17th, in the first few minutes of the Blue Jays game, my dad passed away and I officially became a member of this “club” I never even knew existed.
Throughout this process, people treated me differently. Now? They still treat me differently because that thing called “death” has officially shook my whole world. The thing is is that I never blame people for acting this way towards my situation. In western society, death is not a topic of conversation. Parents never have real conversations with their children about what will happen when they die. How can a person prepare their loved one for their death? People don’t want to think about dying at all. We seem to fear talking about death as much as we fear death itself.
When I was forcefully entered into this club, my worldview, perspective on life, and perspective on people in general has vastly changed.
Sure I have had people in my life die before, but I never knew what grief actually was, how things would play out, or what I would experience going through this thing called grief. No one tells you what it will be like. No one tells you what they have been through – down to detail.
I started to ask myself, why don’t people talk about it if it could help others? Our society silences these conversations by:
- No conversation at all
- Not knowing how to comfort someone else
- Afraid of real conversations in general
- Afraid of emotions
- Oh one second, let me check my smart phone….
- Not wanting to scare others
- Not wanting to reflect on their own inevitable death
- Let’s not make things “awkward”
- etc……(I could go on, but you can think of additional reasons on your own time)
Sure, there are definitely more awful things in this world than your loved one dying, but when you are silently suffering, no ambition, no desire to get up in the morning, over analyzing and constantly missing your loved one – it seems like nothing else in the world fucking matters. You see, when my world seemed to STOP, I just couldn’t figure out why everyone else’s was still seamlessly turning. People were still going about their daily tasks like everything was just as normal as it was the day before. And you know what? I was expected to do the same.
“Just go back to work, it’ll get your mind off of it”
“Once you get back into your old routine, things will go back to normal”
Comforting words that I believed to be hopeful or a potential cure for my pain, in retrospect was a feeling of pressure from society to “get back to normal, soldier on, and stop acting so depressed.”
People just don’t know what to say, how to help, or how to react.
Because Death and Grief are simply not discussed.
So welcome to my blog, it is now February 16th and this is the only place I will be discussing my ups and downs and overall journey of this thing called grief. Read it for fun, read it for information, read it for what to expect, or read it to help someone else or hey! even yourself!
Welcome to the club, from the perspective of one of it’s newest members.