Stay away from people who say shit like…

Stay away from people who say shit like, I understand… How are you doing… How are you feeling…. You should come to Mass with me… Don’t worry….. God has a plan… You are so strong…  What a great son you are…. When my father was sick…. My mom died from cancer… Life goes on…. That must be so traumatic…. Take some time for yourself…. Stay strong…. I will light a candle for him….  How is he doing…. What does he need…. Time heals all wounds… It could always be worse… Everyone has to go sometime… You know, if you think about it, we are all dying…

Hang out with people who hardly say shit, and if they do say something, they say stuff like, Let’s get a drink…. Did you see ManU mash up Chelsea… Let’s shoot pool… How is you know who… I saw this lady last night who looked like… You look like shit…. Let’s go eat…. Barcelona always makes Rio Madrid look like shit even when Rio Madrid beats them once every fucking blue moon… Hey, did I already ask you if you want a drink… Wow, I know I said you look like shit, but really, you look worse than that….

No offense to the first set of people, because God knows they are well intentioned, but still, trust me, hang out with the people who when they see you, the first and maybe the last thing they say to you is, “Man, you look like shit.”  (Of course, this is only if you look like shit.  If you look good, they need to tell you that you look good, so good, even, that you might be the best good looking person in the universe)

These are the people who will be so real with you that you will have no choice but to be real about shit as well.  Because you need real at times like this.  After all the doctor visits, where the newly trained doctors, the New-Agey kind of doctors, the doctors taught to be holistic and loving and compassionate and even possibly spiritual, sit before you at their desk and smile, saying that every case is different and that there is no way they can tell you for sure when it will all end or exactly even how, after trying your best to get them to be real with you, trying to get them to tell you everything their training and experience taught them about what the dying process will look like, after all that bullshit, you need someone who will look you straight in the eye and say, “He has one year to live.  The last three months will be the worst.  In the mornings he will be feelling…. In the afternoons, he will be feeling… and at night the pain will look like…  The very last month you can expect him to… the last couple of days will look like…. The last day like… and the very last hour he will…”  

And I want the doctor who tells me all of this to be like Yang from Grey’s Anatomy.  Let me find a way to make sense of it without you, the doctor, trying to inspire me to feel that anything is possible and that, according to you, the doctor, since every case is different, then I can live in hope for as long as I can. Nope, I want Dr. Yang, please, clinical and direct and without any hope.  Sounds fucked up, I know.  But not for nothing, when shit is fucked up,  I want someone to say it’s fucked up, same way if I look like shit, I want someone to say I look like shit.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post.  Please feel free to leave a comment.

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One comment

  • Yo, cause what may seem like condolences at first are usually just defense mechanisms. When people are confronted with real human suffering–suffering that screams and throbs like an exposed nerve–they just don’t know what the hell to do. They try to shield themselves from that pain with a few puny, pre-packaged formulas–“He’s with God now,” or, “It was her time”–the same way the victim in a horror movie trying to fend off the vampire with some ridiculous makeshift cross.

    And that shit is enervating, because they’re actually looking for you to console them, which is the last thing you need at the moment. They need you to be okay so that they can be okay.

    Keep up the writing, bro. You’ve got some powerful stuff here.

    Like

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