How to seem sad
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27-08-2013, 12:10 PM
How to seem sad
Sorry, couldn't think of a better title. I don't actually want to fake sadness.

So last sunday my cousin died of cancer after 6 years of fighting, at the age of 31. When I was a child, she was like a big sister to me, I would cry for hours after we visited her and the rest of my french family every two weeks. Over the last ten years, we have become very distant because of my social anxiety and her illness.

This thursday I'm driving to France with my brother to attend the funeral and once again I'm confronted with the problem of not being sad at all. When my mum called me and told me she was dead, I was like: "Oh...".

The rest of my family is crestfallen. As her father was an asshole and died many years ago after having consumed too much alcohol and her mother didn't really care about her either until some years ago, she and her brother always considered my parents as their parents, so we were very close actually. And she's leaving her 6-year-old son behind as well, so, objectively, I get that it is sad. But I have no feelings about it at all. It was the same with all the other dying relatives.

And again, I will be standing next to my family, receiving handshakes and many "condoléances", while being afraid that everyone around me will wonder why I don't shed a single tear Confused .

So is it only me or are there any others who are the same? It's kinda weird, because when I'm watching sad movies, I cry like a little baby Smile. When I told my therapist some years ago, she said it might be some sort of protective mechanism of my subconsciousness Consider.

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27-08-2013, 01:59 PM
RE: How to seem sad
Just tell them you cried much at home and you dont need to cry that much anymore,and tell them you stay strong to support the others

KC IS A LIAR!!!! HE PROMISED ME VANILLA CAKES AND GAVE ME STRAWBERRY CAKE Weeping
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27-08-2013, 02:01 PM
RE: How to seem sad
She was sick for 6 years. I'm thinking you've had time to prepare for her death.

My grandpa died after being bedridden for about three years due to both Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. It was horrifying to see him slowly waste away and forget who he was and who we were, but when he finally died I wasn't sad at all.

Or maybe you're not sad because you're not actually losing anybody. Your relationship faded away over the last years, so it's not like she left a hole in your life. It sounds insensitive, but it happens.

As for the funeral, I can tell you what I did in my grandpa's funeral. I just stared at my feet and tried not to appear bored.

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27-08-2013, 02:03 PM
RE: How to seem sad
I think we all take things in different ways. There is not a set routine on how you should feel or act about these things.

You may not be alone in not crying at the funeral, so don't feel like you are out of place. Your just dealing with it the only way you know how.

For no matter how much I use these symbols, to describe symptoms of my existence.
You are your own emphasis.
So I say nothing.

-Bemore.
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27-08-2013, 03:11 PM
RE: How to seem sad
First off, hugs. It's bad enough to lose someone you were once very close to, much less have to carry round the worry that you aren't grieving the way you're "supposed" to.

I suppose I didn't grieve the way I was "supposed" to for either my maternal grandmother OR my paternal grandfather, but it was my way. For my granny, I was in 8th or 9th grade when my mom came up to the school to tell me she'd passed on. I cried briefly, my mom asked if I wanted to go home, and I said no. I didn't cry at all the rest of that day, nor at any time right up until the funeral - I was sort of numb to it. It hit me at the funeral then and I did cry some. For my grandpa, I didn't even have brief tears for him at hearing the news and wouldn't have cried at the funeral had I not saw my dad break down in tears. Does that make me emotionless? I don't think so. It just makes me different.

My mom has accused me of being emotionless, but consider the situation I was in when she accused me thus: After years and years of trying to win her approval and failing miserably, I found myself (at 16 years old, mind you) scared and pregnant. When she found out about it, she told me, "You've ruined our reputation in the community." I can remember that moment so clearly, can remember feeling like her words up unto those were like arrows that I'd taken with no armor at all. When she said that, I remember feeling, almost visualizing, this shield forming around me, or rather, myself holding one up and hearing the "plink" of her thoughtless words against that protective shield, but no longer feeling them. She then started crying and bawling and I sat there stone-faced. She asked how I could be so cold, told me she didn't know me anymore.

You said your cousin had been battling cancer for some time. I know that with me, my granny had been bad off for a while before she passed. She had an open heart surgery and it changed her - made her like a whole different person, like MY granny died on the operating table. So when she actually died, it was like I'd already grieved over her, so it wasn't as painful. Maybe during all this time your cousin's been sick, you've been building yourself a wall and didn't realize it.

Maybe not, but if you did, it's not going to come down in a day. My advice? You can't make yourself feel anything and you'll only exhaust yourself trying. Whatever you're feeling right now - even if that's nothing at all - let it be. Embrace it if you can. Give yourself permission to snuggle close to that wall or shield that's been keeping you safe all this time and you might be surprised at how quickly it crumbles.

Just my two cents. Feel free to ignore if I'm way off base.

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27-08-2013, 03:21 PM
RE: How to seem sad
I'd just accept the condolences gracefully and leave it at that. They're your feelings, no need to let anyone's idea of how you should act influence you. But it's not wrong to fake it either, so just choose how you wanna do it.
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28-08-2013, 01:02 AM
RE: How to seem sad
Thank you all Smile

I'm sorry your mother reacted that way EscapeArtist Undecided reputation is not really important in situations like that. My mother knows of my "apathy". She witnessed it ever since I lost my first pet when I was a child, and any other animal or family member we lost since then. Not cried for a single one of them. When I was young I actually wondered if I was heartless, but I know I'm not. I just fear that others might think so.

It does actually feel like a burden was taken off of my shoulders. Some years after she had been diagnosed with cancer, we had a conversation over the phone where she blamed me for not caring about her, because I never called her. I explained to her that I can't, that the thought of having to comfort someone is horrifying to me. She said she'd understand if she wasn't dying, but since she could be gone at any time, I should see what's more important. I couldn't even blame her for not understanding my anxiety issues.

About two weeks ago, my dad called and told me that her doctors thought she would die soon, so I should call her. I had a little post-it on my desk that reminded me to do that, but I delayed it until it was too late. I don't regret not having said "goodbye". But during the last years, I built up so much guilt of not being there for her, that it does feel a little relieving now.

My dad called and told me, it would be a rather discrete service tomorrow. She will be incinerated, so the actual funeral will be some months later. That made me calm down a bit. But my brother is driving tomorrow, which makes me a little uneasy Wink. Wish me luck, wouldn't be his first accident.

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28-08-2013, 07:08 AM
RE: How to seem sad
Good luck bro.

KC IS A LIAR!!!! HE PROMISED ME VANILLA CAKES AND GAVE ME STRAWBERRY CAKE Weeping
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