Friday, January 27, 2012

Grief Junkies

Grief Junkies

Someone threw this term out to me the other day and it stuck with me. Grief junkies. I knew what they meant as soon as I read it. Grief junkies are the opposite of those people who don’t want to talk about your grief with you-these are the people who seem to be all over it.

At first thought you might think, okay, what’s so wrong with that? I want to talk about my child and my grief. In the beginning, it might be okay. You meet with these people, usually friends, and they listen attentively while you discuss your feelings, frustrations, and memories of your child. Later, however, things get weird.

They won’t let it go.

These are people who, even when you’re talking about another subject, bring it back around to how awful you’re feeling. They bring up your depression, sadness, and grief even when you’re not talking about it yourself. They want to know intimate details about how you feel. They want play-by-plays. Then, they start getting even more inquisitive about other parts of your life. They seem to want to play therapist to you.

Most of all, they provoke you. You might be holding it together pretty well, and then the grief junkie will come along and poke at you and prod at you until you’re an absolute mess and they have to comfort you. That’s kind of how they get off.

There are other examples of this, too. They sometimes want to take on your grief as their own. Maybe part of it is to feel empathy, but a lot of it is for attention. They never met your child, or only met them once, yet they talk about how much they are grieving and how much they miss him. They tell other people that they have lost someone close to SIDS-never revealing that it wasn’t them at all but someone they knew.

Personal information and feelings that you revealed to them in what you thought were private moments are suddenly showing up in their status updates and blogs. They comment on your own page, revealing that same information-stuff you didn’t want made public. They like to show off how much they know about you and your situation.

If you’ve encountered a person like this then you know what I’m talking about.

Grief junkies. They feed off your sadness and encourage you to stay there so that you will need them and they can look important to everyone around them. They’re almost worst than the ones who don’t care at all. 

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