Recently, a friend of mine passed away. Within that friend group, if you had asked any of us who would likely die first everyone would have said him (even him). But even so, it still came as a shock. Just out of nowhere, someone I saw almost weekly is just gone. Forever. The remainder of the group got together for our normal weekly gathering and had a remembrance for him. But I was struck by the difference in how I reacted to the news compared to everyone else. So I thought I would write about that.
Not The First Time
This is not the first time I have lost someone close to me. Over the years I have lost all of my grandparents, some of them rather suddenly. But… I didn’t feel the lose very strongly. Part of me knew, they were gone, I would never see them again, and I should be sad. But I didn’t cry, I wasn’t sad, I just carried on with life. I don’t know why that is how I reacted, but it is. Did I disassociate from the problem? Maybe. That is how I would describe how I felt at the time.
In addition to losing grandparents I have also lost several pets. The first was my dog. We got her when she was just a puppy and I was still in early grade school. I grew up with that dog. And then, one day, just before we were set to go on vacation for a weekend, something happened. We were in the garage and she yelped in pain. When we got to her seconds latter, her back legs no longer worked. As best we can tell our 13+ year old dog had a stroke or aneurism or something that lost her the ability to move her back legs. One stay at the Vet latter and a confirmation that she would not get better… and we had her put to sleep.
I do not remember much around this time, I remember choosing not to go back and watch her going to sleep for the last time. I am told I cried over the loss. Typing this out I can feel the tears threatening to come out, so I believe it. All this to say, I know I can be affected by loss, but for some reason I am not a lot of the time.
This time, it was just a normal day. Was in the middle of something when I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. But when I finished up and looked again I realized who the call was from and called them back. Upon getting the news of our friend’s death my immediate response was a short stunned silence, then a “Oh. FUCK.”
I was sent reeling for a little bit, but then my mind shifted a bit. Rather than the grief one might expect, my mind started going over how schedules might change. What to do with certain character interactions in our ongoing game. Just all these analytical angles of the situation. Honestly it got to the point where I was starting to wonder if something was wrong with me.
Then we had our remembrance gathering. Most of the other people were very emotional or had emotional stories of hearing the news. And I just… didn’t. Guess I was the rock. For a while I wondered if something was wrong with my response. But writing all this out has helped me get through some things. And how much I got choked up upon starting this… Nothing “wrong” with me. I just process my grief in an atypical way.