I don’t know if most people
* don’t know how to react, so they don’t say anything
* don’t know how I’ll react, so they don’t say anything
* have forgotten
* don’t care
* don’t want to recognize an anniversary of death as a day to remember
* are too busy
* are wrapped up in their own lives
For me the 21st of July will forever be a painful day. It will be a day that I’ll never forget.
But as far as history goes, it’s not a day that will be plastered in textbooks, or memorialized nationally– well, at least never for the reasons that I’ll never forget it. Heck at this point you’d be hard pressed to find an obituary for John… like the gazillions of average people who have passed away, John, for the most part, has faded into obscurity. Foard’s doesn’t even keep obituaries of for that matter name & DOD posted on their website, over 1oK for a funeral and you can’t even get your name LISTED on their website for more than a few months (Yes, I do have an issue with that.)
I know John added the dates of his parents’ deaths to his Outlook calendar. But that’s the type of person that John was.
I’m trying to recall who supported John on the anniversary of Ann’s death. I do think that John’s relative’s acknowledged it. I do know that back then, John and I had each other for sharing, sharing tears, comforting, and support. The only person that I have doesn’t realize grief (unless you count things like Mommy won’t let him bring ‘blue dog’ downstairs or Mommy won’t let him take the cheerios in the store..(geez- poor kiddo has a mean, ‘ol hard ass for a Mom- his sympathetic parent is dead- sucks for him)) and has very limited oral communications skills… I don’t have another adult… so essentially, I’m alone…
To each their own, but honestly, it would have been nice if people had merely said, “Mary, I’ve been thinking about you.” “Mary, I hope you’re doing okay.” “Mary, is there anything I can do.” “Mary, I understand that you lost John a year ago, I can’t understand that loss, but I want you to know, I’m here for you.” “Mary, John meant a lot to me too, I’m thinking of you and Nathaniel.” “Mary, I know this month is tough for you, hang in there.” Or sent a card… or written an e-mail…
On the 21st, I received a grand total of… one hug, two phone calls… one absolutely touching e-mail from a very dear friend, who also called, three FB posts on my page and one private message, three FB posts on people’s pages, two people posted on John’s FB page (but they had also posted elsewhere), one former co-worker who also sent a card pinged me on communicator, and at work one person (not on my team) said they were surprised I was there (although I only made it a 1/2 night— ended up in the ER at 1:30 AM with an issue totally un-related to the stress and pain of the day).
That was it.
So, if I count correctly and exclude duplicates… a whopping TWELVE people.
Not one person was a firefighter (nothing from CFCRS, AFD, the union).
Only one was John’s relative.
None of my relatives.
Not one of my direct co-workers.
On the anniversary of John’s death I posted a link to my LiveStrong page for the Philly Challenge and asked for donations or for people to join and not a single person even donated a single dollar.
Now grant it, in the few days that have passed, a few more, “I’m thinking about you,” “You and Nathaniel are in my prayers,” “I miss John,” and “How are you doing’s” have trickled in…
So, how did this make me feel?
Disappointed by the human race
And I wondered… Am I such a terrible person that nobody gives a rat’s ass about me?
Was John the person who was loved, and not me?
Does no one care about my loss?
Am I selfish to expect people to care?
Have people forgotten?
Is it really true that so few people remembered?
Do people merely have their own way of remembering their deceased friend, co-worker, or relative?
Do people forget that their deceased friend, co-worker, or relative, has a family who is living? Who is grieving? Who will always miss their loved one?
Is the anniversary of a DOD just to painful to acknowledge?
Does the anniversary of a DOD bring such pain to a person that they chose to not acknowledge it to free themselves from their own grief?
Am I stuck in some eternal rut where people will shake their heads and say, “oh that poor girl, she’s stuck and can’t move on” and talk behind my back? Maybe people think it’s been a year and I should be “over it.” Maybe people think I should be onto another relationship. Maybe I should be sleeping with somebody else in my bed (or in his bed).
and then I thought… Is it wrong of me to expect people to remember?
and I thought… if it was me, would I have remembered when some other friend’s spouse had died? Honestly, I don’t know… I can’t re-call the date of Etta’s death. But I can remember Crystal’s husband’s death, but that came after John and my perspective was greatly altered. I remember my first horse’s DOD and that was in 1992. I remember my Grandmother Brown’s DOD, but that is easy… Halloween. I remember a dear friend’s horse (who also meant a lot to me) DOD 08-08-08. I’ll remember Squall’s.
But maybe I’m odd for remembering those dates.
I don’t know the answers… but I do know… it left me feeling:
Disappointed by the human race
But, I’m over it… yes, it hurt and yes, I come to realize that I’m very much alone in this world, but I do have a few good friends and I know who they are.
Life is too short, I’ve come to realize that holding negative emotions inside can never have a positive outcome.
In this last year, I’ve come to realize that the more people I know… the more I love my animals. You can pretty much take an animal at face value and mine are always happy to see me, loving, forgiving, and caring, which is more than I can say about most people I’ve encountered.
A kind word, an e-mail, a card, or a hug goes a very long way. Now, next year and in the years following, I doubt that very many people will remember at all… except for those with phenomenal minds, deep personal ties, or who have marked it on their calendar or Outlook. I won’t fault those who will forget next year or the years following.
So, thank you to the twelve… and to those who have since communicated… As far as the rest– it’s okay. I won’t hold a grudge. I don’t need an explanation. I’ve come to understand that not everything has an explanation… sometimes there are miracles that defy explanations and sometimes there is the flip side- I’ll never understand why John had to die… I’ll never understand why such a great father was robbed of the opportunity to raise his son… I’ll never understand why the love of my life was taken… I’ve come to understand that the human race often is disappointing in it’s treatment to fellow man, woman, and child. It’s okay… I can’t change others… I can only be myself.