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Tag Archives: death

People will often use the memory of someone they knew marginally to catapult sympathy onto themselves. They will hijack the idea of mourning and make it the subject of their own personal use. This is not only offensive, it is unsettling and demeaning. And, not to mention, embarrassingly selfish.

There is a difference between mourning the death of someone and being sad about their demise. And it’s not even a minute difference – it’s vast.

People especially want to hijack the death of someone young. And everyone is guilty of, at least once, saying, “They were so young.” That’s fine. It’s one thing to be moved by the death of someone at a young age. It reminds us all of our mortality, it puts things into perspective, and it makes us think of how we might treat people differently in the future.

So that our reputations are untarnished, when we die.

It goes to ridiculous lengths. Posting messages to a dead person, on their Myspace and Facebook pages? Really, as though there were internet access in heaven (can you imagine the cable length? wi-fi is way out of range!), and the dead would use those means to check up on the goings-on in this realm. This is proof of your superficiality in regards to their demise.

I’ve mourned. And I’ve been sad. I mourn the deaths of people who have affected me personally – people who have influenced my life. I am sad about the deaths of individuals who merely died, empathetically. But I’ve never confused the two. And to take hold of someone else’s memory for personal gain – that of sympathy (which makes me wonder what that’s even worth) – is, at its very best, weird.

Recently, there have been two girls that have died in or near my hometown. They were both pregnant, and they were both young. The number of people affected by their deaths is staggering. People have gone so far as to mourn the unborn children, whom they have never known. The only person I could really understand mourning the death of an unborn child is the mother or father (and not really the father, even), and in both of these cases, the mother died as well.

What do we get from this? What benefit is there in claiming to have lost someone so dear to you?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. I mean, I know the abstract reasons. But I do not identify with this.

I’ve always maintained that I will die young. I am 27 now and ready to go at any minute – not because I hate life or long for death. I just know that I will be unaffected (aside from the whole death thing) by my own passing. I am not afraid for my own outcome. I know there is no Heaven and no God and that I will be merely buried, no longer to exist. But if I am wrong – if there is some sort of afterlife, and you choose to mourn me and hijack my own death for your own personal sympathy…I will haunt the fuck out of you. There are probably about a dozen people who have loved me and I have loved in return, genuinely. These people know me and care for me. And vice versa. Anyone other than them in attendance at my funeral, or claiming to have been my best friend, will be met by the most vicious hauntings this side of Poltergeist.

Simply put, I don’t get it. It is downright creepy. And it has to border on some facet of necrophilia. I’d rather not analyze it too in-depth for those reasons, but still the question remains: What is gained? Why is our society so eager to profit from death (both financially and emotionally)?

I don’t get it.