ungrief, 3rd November 2016

someone died a few days ago….. I didn’t know them, they didn’t know me, we’ve never met….. it was a friends friend’s husband….. I don’t know either of them…….. I didn’t feel anything, nothing, not really….. should I have?…… I was told and.. nothing….. I noticed I hadn’t reacted how I was expected too, though am not sure how that was supposed to be…… should I fake it?…… I thought about it…. like being underwater without a snorkel it’s remarkable how long a few seconds can actually last…. ages……. I could’ve faked it and made some noncommittal commiserative sound…. it didn’t make a difference….. I didn’t know them, the whole thing didn’t really touch me…….. I could’ve dug deep from my acting days and wore some kind of pretence but I didn’t, why would I?……. anyway, by then the seconds had almost become minutes and I guessed it was too late now…….. it wasn’t that I didn’t care, deaths don’t usually attract many ‘yays‘……. I’ve learned how to react to certain things but when they happen sometimes auto-pilot fails to kick in… it’s a kind of ‘ungrief‘, knowing what’s happened but without any real emotional resonance or bond….. some call it empathy, though it isn’t the same…… I’ve been on stage I should be able to do it…. I can’t feign a personal connection I don’t have…. sometimes I can experience a profound response to the death of someone whom I’ve never met but that’s usually someone I’ve created a bond with from a distance, a musician or writer or suchlike…… I could see a veiled disappointment on their face at not being able to ‘share‘ it with me as they had expected too…….. I was there though, maybe that counts for something.

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