Different Forms Of Grief
The plan was that I was not going to post anything today. There was no need. I thought I would not post until Monday, simply because I’ve already exhausted what I can say on how I feel about the loss of Dan Wheldon. No one is ready to discuss anything else at this point. So instead of repeating and rehashing what hundreds of others have already said, I was going to respectfully lay low. But after an exchange between readers in the comments section from Wednesday’s post, I reluctantly felt the need to respond.
A reader was compelled to voice his/her opinion that it may be time to move forward. Then after a response from another reader, suddenly they felt comfortable enough to try to explain what I was really thinking.
Just so that there is no interpreting what many "think" I mean – let me be clear: I said on Monday that different people handle death in different ways. Many feel the need to grieve publicly. Personally, I’m not comfortable with that, but that’s me. I don’t know if it’s because I’m older or the way I was brought up or both or what. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong – it’s just the way I am.
If some continue to grieve publicly several days after the fact – that’s fine. That’s how you deal with it. However, readers should not be attacked here or anywhere else simply because they do not grieve as long as others. Consequently, no one should be reprimanded for taking too long to grieve. We deal with things differently. Disagreements are fine, but words that were never said should not be turned and used against someone simply because they grieve shorter than others.
This hasn’t just happened here. I’ve seen the same confrontations on other blog sites and on Twitter. Is it really necessary to verbally confront someone because they want to move forward? Just because someone types to the world how much they are hurting, does that mean they care much more than those that prefer to internalize such emotions? I can sympathize with “Nomex” because I’m not a very outwardly emotional person, but it doesn’t mean that I care any less than those that tend to wear their emotions on their sleeve.
Is this really a time for IndyCar fans to fight amongst themselves? With what happened last weekend and so many non-fans now looking to end our sport, it seems trite for fans to be fighting over who hasn’t grieved enough. Does it really matter?
For the record – I, too, am leaning towards the school of thought that we will soon need to move on. Just keep in mind – we are all still very sad, regardless of how much or how little we show it
My only real points of contention that I will tackle on Monday, are the irresponsible journalists out there and the relentless attacks against Randy Bernard. As Kevin Lee asked so well last night on Trackside – do these people have no heart? Kevin, I think it is apparent that they don’t.
I hope everyone will do something fun and entertaining this weekend to forget everything for a while. Then please watch the Versus telecast of Dan Wheldon’s Memorial Service in Indianapolis Sunday at 4:00 Eastern time. After Sunday, I think everyone will be ready to turn the page. We won’t forget about Dan, but I think by then it will be time to respond to some of the ramifications of this past week.