Death-rage and what to do about it

game over.
  1. Allow connections to happen. The loss of my friend has reconnected me to a terrific guy I knew in childhood. We discovered this mutual friend, this mutual tragedy. We made the quite-open decision to reconnect. It is helping.
  2. Talk to strangers. When I am asked how I am doing, I no longer respond “great” when I’m not great. If I have a minute, I will allow a stranger one slight layer deeper into my emotional life. This is a sea change from how I have behaved since I was a kid, and it turns out, most strangers and almost all acquainances are compassionate. I’m not suggesting you dump all your problems on random humans, but when we spread out the sadness it helps to accept it. And we have more in common with each other than you think.
  3. Listen to everyone. In scratching the surface of emotions with acquaintances, it turns out they also open up right back — all of us seem to have chasms of pain that we are struggling to address. I can’t tell you how good it has feels to be able to listen. It is almost as if opening up to listen and support others actually strengthens the part of you that is fragile. I was very resistant to this, thinking that I had my own problems to confront and didn’t have space for the problems of others — but in conversations in elevators, on covid testing lines, over zooms and chats, and even on phone calls with customer service, I have discovered that humanity welcomes connection. It turns out that being compassionate is a conditioning activity. It makes you stronger to be generous with your attention.

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Fictionista, collector of obscure awards, admirer of optimists in the face of dread. Author of Book&Baby, an acclaimed guide for writer-parents. mmdevoe.com

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M. M. De Voe

M. M. De Voe

Fictionista, collector of obscure awards, admirer of optimists in the face of dread. Author of Book&Baby, an acclaimed guide for writer-parents. mmdevoe.com

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