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  1. #1
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Default ISTPs - Caretaking, Funerals, Public Grief

    Not sure how to start off. I don't think anyone likes "funerals", but I've never been to one myself. I once flew across the United States to attend one, only to get back on the plane and leave. I thought I was going to do it, but suddenly, just being there made me think.. "Screw this". And people try to tell me to do it for the deceased person's sake. That doesn't work on me though. They're dead. Why would they care?

    I'm kind of the same way with hospitals and dealing with illness too. I don't want to sit around a hospital bed for hours. One time my mom fell down (from vertigo issues, which wasn't diagnosed yet), and I rushed her to the hospital. Once I knew she was in good hands, I didn't want to stay overnight. She didn't care, but my dad, who was out of town at the time, was pissed. And yet, I brush it off. I don't comply. It's hard to guilt me if another side of me says "This is pointless. I don't need to be here."

    Anyways, can anyone identify with any of that? Or am I just a dysfunctional human being?

  2. #2
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Not sure how to start off. I don't think anyone likes "funerals", but I've never been to one myself. I once flew across the United States to attend one, only to get back on the plane and leave. I thought I was going to do it, but suddenly, just being there made me think.. "Screw this". And people try to tell me to do it for the deceased person's sake. That doesn't work on me though. They're dead. Why would they care?

    I'm kind of the same way with hospitals and dealing with illness too. I don't want to sit around a hospital bed for hours. One time my mom fell down (from vertigo issues, which wasn't diagnosed yet), and I rushed her to the hospital. Once I knew she was in good hands, I didn't want to stay overnight. She didn't care, but my dad, who was out of town at the time, was pissed. And yet, I brush it off. I don't comply. It's hard to guilt me if another side of me says "This is pointless. I don't need to be here."

    Anyways, can anyone identify with any of that? Or am I just a dysfunctional human being?
    The only thing I would say is, definitely in the case of funerals, you do it for the people who are still alive. I mean, I can see doing it a little bit as a tribute to the person who has died, but basically you do it for the living. You do it to show support, possibly even if you didn't know the deceased well, and if you did know the deceased well you do it also to show the living relatives/friends/etc how much the person meant to you. And it actually can mean a lot. I went to a funeral ten years ago for a guy I had briefly dated (two years previously) who had committed suicide. I didn't really even qualify as his "ex" as the "relationship" barely got off the ground, but we did date for a while and I'd thought he was a nice, decent guy. I really didn't much want to go as the whole situation was sad, crappy and confusing but I did want to show support and my parents came too. And his mom was obviously very very touched that I had come. (Surprisingly, she knew who I was the moment I introduced myself, though she hadn't met me before. I was surprised that this indicated he must have shown her pictures of me or described me in some detail - not what I'd expected). So although the whole thing felt lousy, I was glad I'd gone for that reason.

    I know a lot of people have a hard time with hospitals. I don't like them but I can manage it. I went to see a friend a week ago who wound up there unexpectedly. She appreciated it, although I felt drained and upset when I left - I was very worried about her recovery though she is better now.

    I think it is good to be able to support people in these ways if you can. If your mom wasn't bothered by you not sticking around, that's not such a big deal, I guess - but it might be good if in future, under somewhat different circumstances, you were able to. I am really curious about the funeral experience you had. Why would you go so far, only to not attend? Was there something about the situation that made you feel panicky, for instance? I hope I'm not asking this in a rude way but I am genuinely curious.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Not sure how to start off. I don't think anyone likes "funerals", but I've never been to one myself. I once flew across the United States to attend one, only to get back on the plane and leave. I thought I was going to do it, but suddenly, just being there made me think.. "Screw this". And people try to tell me to do it for the deceased person's sake. That doesn't work on me though. They're dead. Why would they care?

    I'm kind of the same way with hospitals and dealing with illness too. I don't want to sit around a hospital bed for hours. One time my mom fell down (from vertigo issues, which wasn't diagnosed yet), and I rushed her to the hospital. Once I knew she was in good hands, I didn't want to stay overnight. She didn't care, but my dad, who was out of town at the time, was pissed. And yet, I brush it off. I don't comply. It's hard to guilt me if another side of me says "This is pointless. I don't need to be here."

    Anyways, can anyone identify with any of that? Or am I just a dysfunctional human being?
    Funerals are for the living; not the dead. They are a way for people to pay their respects to that person's life. Everyone wants to be remembered and thought well of, and funerals can offer that one last opportunity to do that. Some people need the physical closure that a funeral can bring. And others don't need that at all. It doesn't make either perspective right or wrong, just different.

    In the case with your mom, I wonder if your dad was mad out of a sense that he had failed her as a husband by not being there himself. So it may not have had much to do with you per se, but his view of himself as a man and husband and perhaps as a father... Ie, if he can't be there to take care of her in a certain way, he expects that he raised you to step into his shoes.

    Does that make sense?

  4. #4
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I am really curious about the funeral experience you had. Why would you go so far, only to not attend? Was there something about the situation that made you feel panicky, for instance? I hope I'm not asking this in a rude way but I am genuinely curious.
    I don't know why exactly I did that. I had avoided situations like that my whole life, but that was my grandmother's funeral. Maybe it was a close enough relationship for me to judge differently, but actually being there just made me reevaluate the situation. I don't remember feeling panicky about it. I just thought I had better things to do. Once I think that in any situation, it'll nag at me.

  5. #5
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I don't know why exactly I did that. I had avoided situations like that my whole life, but that was my grandmother's funeral. Maybe it was a close enough relationship for me to judge differently, but actually being there just made me reevaluate the situation. I don't remember feeling panicky about it. I just thought I had better things to do. Once I think that in any situation, it'll nag at me.
    Again I hope this doesn't sound presumptuous - but I can't relate to that at all. Especially because you had flown across the country. I assume the whole process of the reception, tea afterwards, etc would have taken a few hours - and you'd already flown there. So why not go, even if it was a question of "better things to do"? It just makes me wonder if maybe you had other feelings that you couldn't identify at the time - a fear of confronting that much sadness; some kind of nervousness over how you might react; something relating to others who might be there; etc. And if you interpreted that as "feeling you had better things to do."

    When you say "once I think I had better things to do in any situation, it'll nag at me" - do you mean because you would revise that opinion later? Or because you have a feeling there was something underlying it? Or...?

    Sorry about all the questions. I really do find this interesting and very different from my own approach, although believe me, I don't like funerals. But I have been to many (unfortunately) so I am used to it in a way.
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  6. #6
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    My sister failed to go to my grandmother's funeral. She had trouble dealing with the mortality of life, reflected in my dying grandmother, and refused to visit her even though I could see my grandmother was sad that my sister failed to show time and time again. When she died..... Nothing was more difficult for me than to explain that my sister 'hadn't made the time' to go to the funeral.
    People way poorer than us, with more pressing matters, living further away, with a hundred things on their plate had made the time to come pay respects.. and my sister just plain didn't bother. Sure, she has a handful of excuses to back her up, but at the end of the day not many excuses outside of "I died too" and "Im in a vegetable state" and "I got into an accident on the way to the funeral and am now in the hospital" stand up to The Funeral.

    To me, it's cowardly behavior. No one WANTS to be at a funeral. But most people suck it up. Others need your support, and a way to vent their grief, and not being there for them is nonsense. I don't feel the dead person needs it--they're onto bigger and better things, what the living are doing is the last thing they've got on the priority list. But to use that as an excuse to hide behind your own animosities towards death and illness is pretty low.

    You're not a dysfunctional human, or a robot.. but clearly you don't want to confront illness or death in any way, shape, or form. I suggest the idea is something you start working on soon.. illness happens when you least expect it, and death is something everyone must come to terms with.

    Life isn't all sunshine and butterflies.. and just because you THINK you won't care if people don't come visit you during the times you are ill doesn't mean you should spend your life avoiding others as if you're doing them an equal trade and favor. "Well I wont care, so they shouldn't.."

    I don't think there's many 'better things to do' in life than what's right. And without sounding like a moral compass... supporting others, and paying tribute to the dead are pretty high on the 'that's the right thing to do' roster as far as I know.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Again I hope this doesn't sound presumptuous - but I can't relate to that at all. Especially because you had flown across the country. I assume the whole process of the reception, tea afterwards, etc would have taken a few hours - and you'd already flown there. So why not go, even if it was a question of "better things to do"? It just makes me wonder if maybe you had other feelings that you couldn't identify at the time - a fear of confronting that much sadness; some kind of nervousness over how you might react; something relating to others who might be there; etc. And if you interpreted that as "feeling you had better things to do."

    When you say "once I think I had better things to do in any situation, it'll nag at me" - do you mean because you would revise that opinion later? Or because you have a feeling there was something underlying it? Or...?

    Sorry about all the questions. I really do find this interesting and very different from my own approach, although believe me, I don't like funerals. But I have been to many (unfortunately) so I am used to it in a way.
    I think you're reading too much into it.

    Who knows though, maybe not. Maybe you know more about this than even I do. I just noticed that I might be different, so I made a thread. The only concern with feelings now is whether I'm a freak or not.

  8. #8
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    No one likes funerals. I think its important to pay respects in that situation tho. I had a close friend commit suicide a couple years back. We werent close during the last few years before he died but he was a good person and was very close at one time. He deserved that honor. Its not about you in that situation. Just gotta suck it up and show up. If its uncomfortable, it probably means you care more than you thought you did.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    It's official. I'm a freak.

  10. #10
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Is your view about this stuff something you wanted to change or did you just want to see how others feel?
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