Finding relief in grief

Yesterday M, our domestic help came a little late to work. Her eyes were puffy and her expressions were sombre. When I asked her what happened, she said that her neighbour had just passed away in the morning, leaving his three little children orphaned.

She remained preoccupied the whole day and from time to time, talked about how much she cried. She also spoke over the phone to her other neighbours with an urgency to get back, and she left early.

Usually, when I observe people like M and others, I see that there is a great sense of community that prevails among people like her, especially when they are in grief, etc. Everyone comes together, be with the bereaved person, helpful or otherwise; a bit different from the affluent middle class where once your apartment door is shut, you live in your isolated world without any touch with your neighbours.

Yesterday, as I watched M being absorbed in the grief, I however, wondered about something else. I wondered, whether grief, apart from being a bonding agent, may also hold a macabre attraction for people. Do people find relief from their own hidden fears, anxieties, and unshed tears by a process of catharsis? Is this why, most people are more attracted to news/photos/videos of deaths, accidents and other stories of griefs of others, so that one can “live” through it without having to go through it in real lives? Do others’ death remind us of our own mortality and we cry in fear and in relief that it was not us?

what do you think?

I live in Bangalore, India, and by profession, I am CEO of a consulting organization, a Gender & Diversity Consultant and an Executive Coach. I write because I like writing. However, sometimes it makes sense to convey my thoughts to others and connect with others. Maybe it strikes a chord; perhaps it does not. My life has been my most outstanding teacher, which is why I like sharing my experiences, memories, encounters and other narratives that I build as I go along. I am interested in people, society, culture, ways of life, individual and collective narratives/stories as they lead us to discover each other as nothing else does. I also write about coaching, people's lives, culture, stories, mothering my daughter, believing in a feminine way of life, and most of all, believe that all politics starts from the self and personal convictions

2 thoughts on “Finding relief in grief

  1. That is an interesting observation. You have a point there — it is somewhat like gossipping about others’ problems and misfortunes to make one feel good that it is someone else who is going through that. It is easier to sympathise with them when you are detached from it.

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    • yes Zephyr, i think a kind of catharsis which relieves you without having to go through it personally … bit like being part of an irate angry mob. And a big thank you for always coming back and commenting on what I write. I have not been doing the same to yours and many others blogs in the recent past and I am totally guilty of that. love

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