Some people are just hell bent on outdoing others. I say I’m cold. You’re suddenly freezing. I’m hungry. You’re starving. I’ll bet this is how pnemonia was discovered. One cave man chipped away on his cave “I have a cold.” The other banged out “I have a very bad cold” A few verys later – Bam. Pnemonia.
When bypass surgery became popular I was suspecious. I’m thinking there probably is no such thing as a quadruple bypass. It’s just one guy needing to trump his friend’s triple bypass. I remember mentioning my theory to Jimmy and he said, “Could you get me a glass of ice water?” We often had these deep discussions.
Anyway, I’m leading up to something, here. Grief trumping is big in the mourning process. We all hear about stages of grief, (shock and denial, confusion, emotional release, anger, guilt, depression and isolation and recovery) Got this directly from “Widow To Widow” By Genevieve Davis Ginsberg, M.S.
Great book, by the way. I thought my feelings were only my feelings and it turns out I’m not all that special. For the first time in my life I was glad to know that.
No one, not even Ginsberg (and she has an M.S. after her name) talks about the stage that has no end and that is ‘grief trumping.’ It manifests itself by the grieving in a million (real number – I counted) of dramatic displays and assumptions – for example – the wider the brim on the black widow hat the deeper the sorrow. (research taken directly from an episode of ‘Dallas.’
That said, I have recently become aware that grief trumping is not only widespread among the grieving but it is a big practice by the consoling loved ones. It’s usually under the heading “They mean well” which I’m thinking we (the grievers) should rally against and blast back, “Stop meaning so well – I don’t want to lie by your pool. I hate pools.”
My favorite in a parade of well meaning people are the ones who named their babies after Jimmy. When you get a moment scroll down and read my post of August 11th called “Let’s Name Everyone After Jimmy.”
Okay. Read it?
This just in: On Memorial Day Weekend of this year, just six weeks after Jimmy died, my friend, Teri’s daughter, Daria married a man named Steven Plotz. Daria had considered keeping her name, (duh..) but happily Steven was eager to free himself of the life long abuse that goes with being a ‘Plotz.’
They considered Steven taking Daria’s name, but this choice was too emasculating. A fresh start was in order. They set out to find a new last name (perhaps from the phone book?) to spare themselves and their future little Plotzes.
Teri called me today to tell me they are down at the court house now legally changing their last name to ‘James.’
I plotzed. I know Jimmy is plotzing.
Mr. and Mrs. Steven James trumped them all.