Friday, March 11, 2005

Pondering a death

I'm not a touchy-feely kind of brotha. I don't do emotions. I don't show them. Express them. Talk about them. Or for that matter, care too much about them. Ya feel me? Don't know where this came from. I wasn't raised in an emotionless family. A day didn't go by that my mom didn't either tell or show me that she loved me. My grandmother, although harsh at times, showed her affectionation through giving, providing and bragging on us. And grandpa to this day will lay a sloppy-wet smooch on my 41-year old face and cry like a baby when you tell him how much he's loved.

I never intended to deal with emotions or anything too deep in this weblog. But today, I'm dealing with feelings. And I'll be brutally honest.

Someone whose path crosses mine almost daily just died. And I feel awful. But I'm not sure why. I'm confused. Because I can't say that I liked this person. There, I've said it. It's what I've been trying not to think all afternoon. Didn't want to admit it. Nice guys don't say things like that. But I'd be lying if I said otherwise.

I don't want to go tacky here, so for that reason I won't identify this person by name or give the circumstances of their death.

What do you do, what do you say, how do you react and what do you think when someone dies and that someone honestly made your stomach turn when you saw them approaching? Really. Let's face it, there are some people we like. Some people we dislike. And since we all die, there's a 50/50 chance you'll fall on one side or the other. Am I right? Then how come I feel wrong?

I listened to the nice comments people made in honor of this person. The bearers of the news choked back tears. Their voices cracked as they honored this persons many accomplishments. As they honored the persons professionalism. They recalled the good times. Everyone was silent as the news was announced. Melancholy. And I, too, felt sad. But for different reasons I couldn't quite put my finger on. The person I knew displayed condescension towards me. This person was arrogant. This person was short and abrupt. Occasionally polite. But not with me. And they smelled bad to boot.

For someone who has trouble expressing their feelings, I just did quite well, huh?

I pondered this for awhile. Pensive. Then gave the wife a call. She's does touch-feely better than I. Figured she'd have a Bible verse or something that would make it all make better sense. She didn't. "If you think there's something in the Bible that's going to say it's ok to dislike somebody and not care when they die, I don't where you'll find it in the Good Book," she says. She thought for a bit but had no answer. We ended the call.

Then it came to me.

My wife is the type of person who'll never allow other people's negative qualities to get the best of her. She sees right past the bad stuff in search of the good stuff. When treated disrespectful, she'll set a person straight. She's a sista. But then she'll forgive, look deeper and find that persons bright side. I tend to fester. That's a problem I need to work on. And probably explains why I feel so bad. I never let myself see this persons bright side. And now they're gone. And all that remains in my memory of this person is ugly. That's not good.

So that's my answer. I have to get to a place where I can see the good in everyone. Even those who may treat me unfairly. Even those who are mean. Even those whose personalities conflict with mine or who look down on me for no good reason. Regardless of their baggage or unflattering personality issues. Cause I got some of those myself.

Unrelated thought for the day: Can't say I've had any other thoughts today.


ShellyP said...

I have a hard time too, trying to find the 'bright' side of an otherwise not-so-nice person. What helps me to get past it is to remember that God loves all of equally and wants us all to be saved. So, even though I may have no reason to miss the person, I am still saddened thinking that they may have died lost.

When you learn to see the good, let me know how you do it.

ManNMotion said...

Yeah, you did do a good job of expressing. For what it's worth, there are people in my universe who are in bad health and whom I can't say anything good about either...I've thought about how I will feel/react when they are gone and my answers aren't any better than yours.

The Archivist said...

I have a similar problem.

I see the good... and the people don't believe it's there to be seen.