Grieving is Overrated.
I was recently chatting with a friend about funerals and having just
cracked a joke in bad taste, I was surprised to find that she too had a
similar approach to them. I mean, we all know that they’re a time of
sadness but also a time to remember and laugh about the decedent [that
word takes all the emotion out of the situation, doesn’t it?] but to
actually practice what you preach when the time comes is a lot easier
said than done.
When my father died I was obviously wracked with sadness and thoughts
of missed opportunities and the unfairness of it all. It was stupid and
avoidable. The man had failed a heart stress test at the doctor’s
office half a year before and showcased all of the signs of a major
heart attack risk. The doctor didn’t tell us, didn’t force him into a
strong course of preventative action, and when he did have his heart
attack it was the kind you don’t recover from. It was easy to point
fingers and allow the rage to take a front seat to the sadness but
instead I just dealt with it. I think it was the wise thing, because
it’s way too easy to get sidetracked by the periphery and stretching
the whole process out to an unhealthy length.
But once I was able to crack jokes both in his honor and at his expense
(I am definitely a similar animal to him when it comes to humor) it
really felt like he was still around in the best sense possible. The
grief and the dwelling on the sad aspects of him passing always seemed
to come from a place of negative energy and I think it’s sort of our
jobs as “loved ones” to use the loss as something positive. Always.
Unless a plane landed on them while they were picking fruit in the garden. Then it’s just funny.
I think a loss of someone or another traumatic life-changing experience
becomes too easy a gateway into changing the way you live your life.
You’ve got an excuse to be reclusive. To be downtrodden. To snap at
folks. The be noncommittal. Way I see it, there’s a new impetus to step
it up in that situation. You often hear someone say “it’s how _________
would have wanted it” and it sounds good but it’s more often an easy
way to echo a familiar sentiment than actually put your money where
your mouth is.
Grief is plain overrated. How we carry on isn’t defined on how much we
wear that loss on our person. in our demeanor. In the way we walk or
the lines in our face. It’s our connection to the ones we lost. The
unbroken chain between us that’s not severed by death.
I have an uncle who is dealing with a very aggressive cancer. He has
been for a long time and at times the disease threatens to define him.
He ceases to be the guy I know and love as my nutty uncle but as THE
GUY WITH CANCER. The disease is a parasite who latched on long after
the man was who he was and when I see that horrible and vicious aspect
pushing aside all of the time that preceded it, the REAL time, and it makes
me wonder if there’s really any difference between faith and science
and reality. Or any value to them. The way these things entangle all who draw
near seems to indicate chaos at the center of it all. My mother too,
being the only one of his many siblings doing fuck-all on a daily basis
to help him, sometimes carries the burden as well and while I know it’s
hard not to let it permeate everything, I think that’s the real evil of
diseases like that. Not what it does physically to the victim but the
way it seeps into EVERYTHING.
Another friend was recently told he wasn’t grieving enough over his
impending divorce and I had to double take. Divorce itself is a
solution to a grief of sorts, for it’s a decision brought about by
darkness and sadness whether shared or a burden of half the parties
How much to grieve isn’t my place or anyone’s to determine. It’s up to
the individual and the form that grief takes could be excessive
drinking and debauchery, a reluctance to eat popcorn, or public
masturbation. It’s really all academic. Especially if you jack off in a
But grief in the old school meat and potatoes definition… is overrated.
I wish I was able to, when I inevitably get stricken with SOMETHING,
just disappear off into the sunset without dragging those around me
into the darkness. Be transported someplace tropical where whatever
thing is tugging at my somewhat useless essence is staved off for as
long as possible by heavily poured cocktails and massive ejaculations.
Then you’ll be able to say “It’s how ________ would have wanted it” and be dead on in your assessment.
- Nick Nunziata hopes no one you love ever dies. Even if it means the world gets overrun with bored living zombies.
And now… a Mary Worth War Strip from the vault…
All apologizes to the creators of the strip. This intended as parody only and not an attempt to be the best thing ever.