Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Pity Party Etiquette

If you have ever been in an unfortunate or sad situation that pulls at the heart strings of human witnesses, you will know how distasteful it is to be their object of pity. Nothing feels worse to the person experiencing sorrow than a wanna be helpful person feeling pity for you - experienced as a layer of slime with the label "caring" that is smeared all over one's etheric body; a suffocating blanket of misplaced emotionality by "the outsider" that evokes repulsion rather than comfort in the grieving receiver.

I was talking to a friend today who has experienced the loss of deeply loved family members, and most recently her mate. As we were together through much of his transition, a solid ground of commonality binds us together. She too has experienced the gloomy looks of would be consolers, their cloying touch pre-programmed to telegraph solace, but more resembling a Hallmark card. During her own ordeal, she thought of posting a sign at the front door that said, "No petting." 

Lest these sentiments be misconstrued as the ramblings of an inveterate Scrooge, I might add a caveat. In the grieving process, a revolving cycle steadily spins, passing through moods like the swinging door of a busy restaurant kitchen. So if  being petted feels yucky one day, it might be the very human touch that triggers healing tears the next time around.

So let's hear it for human emotions, in all their glorious shades of color and black and white - predictable, unpredictable, glorious, heinous, and ephemeral.

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