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I don’t cry February 23, 2006

Posted by K in Death.

I remember an incident that occurred when I was in class 8. I think that was the first time I gave a serious thought to death and what it means. Not that I hadn’t thought about it before…I was a death obsessed child 🙂 Death has always fascinated me. Actually things that people hated, abhorred or plain ignored always fascinated me. I think that was the beginning of the emergence of the non-conformist streak in me.

Anyway, one day we had a special assembly called in the middle of classes, as far as I remember. We filed in, class by class, building by building, and the Central Courtyard was soon full. Down below we had, surprise, surprise, our principal and head of senior school along with some other senior teachers. All were looking grim. I forgot who took the mike, but we heard that a little boy in the Junior branch of our school (which was situated in another campus) had fallen to his death the day before. I don’t remember my reaction very well, but it wasn’t an intense one as far as I can recall. I remember feeling mildly disgusted with the Principal as, while speaking, she squeezed out what I thought were crocodile tears. I thought it was ridiculous the way she pointedly wiped her tears while talking about the incident.

What bothered me about the incident was that a) I’m sure she barely knew the child. Even if she did know the child, I thought it was ridiculous for her to publicly cry, it was as if it was suddenly about her and not the boy. It seemed to scream out LOOK AT ME I’M SO UNHAPPY I HAVE SUCH A BIG HEART.

We spoke about that boy that day. Just the usual, ‘Oh my sister is in his class…’ ‘He was adorable…’ ‘Poor boy, so young….’ ‘I feel so sorry for him…’ Some even shed tears for him. Some declared it spoiled their mood for the day.

I think I shocked a few people when I said I didn’t feel sorry for the boy at all. I was barely affected by the incident, as he was just a name to me, a name I had heard that very morning. I said whatever little bit of sorriness I perceived in my heart, it was for the parents and relatives, for they would be the ones feeling the anguish of a missing love. The boy was dead, he was gone. He wasn’t in this world anymore. And from what I had thought out of the other world, I didn’t think he would be particularly unhappy. The astral planet is enlightening anyway. Besides, chances are that he wasn’t a very evolved soul. HE would probably inhabit the planet for a few moments and take birth again. He wouldn’t remember. The parents would though.

I remember that led me thinking…what is it that causes us to cry and feel terrible when people we know or love pass away. It is complete selfishness ofcourse- we feel sorry for ourselves…that we wouldn’t see them any more. We feel deprived. I would also think that sometimes, we feel terrible because we DON’T feel terrible. A terrible sense of guilt assaults us. WHY am I not feeling sad? How can I be having fun now that he/she is no more? Shouldn’t I be acting differently, isn’t something supposed to change now that he/she is gone…? Ofcourse the reaction of our dear fellow members of society compounds the problem. If I react, rather don’t react to a death I know I will be called all sorts of things. Heartless..selfish…strange…didn’t love her…shame on her…just wait, a time will come when even she will be forced to cry… How DARE you be different? Society doesn’t like you to be different.

I remember likening a human body to a battery operated machine when I was very young. There are two ways for it to go kaput. One, if the juice runs out, which is what happens to old people and in the case of natural deaths. The second is if it breaks-accidents would come under these.

It doesn’t bother me that I don’t cry when people die. I don’t cry. I cry when I feel sorry for myself. Which is seldom. I’m an incredibly selfish person. But I love people, so I cannot convince myself that I’m heartless. I’m not. I feel an incredible love for people; I feel warmly about strangers I don’t know. But it’s a love that doesn’t get torn by death.

I have never had to face the death of a loved one. It’s something I don’t even think about. Consciously. But if dreams are anything to go by, I will be one crazed human being. But even in my dreams I don’t cry.



1. glandheim - December 4, 2006

I know what you mean, or at least I think I do.

I’ve never been able to understand how people get so upset about the death of someone they’ve never met or will never know. When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated I was in middle school. The girls got histerical. The teachers were freaking out. Everyone was crying. I thought “Nobody in this town voted for him, they all disliked him, why are they so upset?”

Death is a part of life, and I have seen the same things you have in public officials. Then there are the people who like to go to funerals to cluck and gossip and talk about how terrible it all is. They seem to feed on tragedy.

I have become upset over the deaths of two people who were close to me. My mother and my former girlfriend who committed suicide. But that is all, in my entire 57 years. I was more upset when I had to take a dog to the pound than I am when I hear about the deaths of strangers, or even relatives. And I knew the dog would be adopted.

I can identify with you completely. I feel like the people around me are an alien species sometimes, or else I am. I am not cold or unemotional, it just seems so inappropriate when people put on these big emotional acts, so…hypocritical?

2. Tom - December 26, 2006

I usually speak well but have difficulty holding back emotion when it comes to something like remembering a deceased friend who made a difference, or good by to an organization that I love so much. Are there any tips for controlling emotional outburst. The most difficult part of this is, it is who I am.

3. john - July 25, 2008

i feel like im in a similar situation
when i was 12 when my grandmother, whom i loved dearly, committed suicide, and at the funeral everyone was bawling…except me
and my brother, who was 14 at the time, looked at me, and accused me of being haertless, and called me a monster.
honestly i agreed with him, and merely gave him a shrug as an answer, and left him to his grief.
and there have been other accounts of lost loved ones in my family, where i have felt no sorrow, or guilt whatsoever.
it makes me feel somewhat detached from humanity…
should i see a therapist?

4. sporadicblogger - July 25, 2008

John- I don’t think I am qualified to answer that. But. Do you feel strange?Or are you made to feel strange? If you are made to feel strange, then don’t let them 🙂 Everybody responds differently to different situations 🙂

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