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Dealing with Loss/Sympathy

Discussion in 'Autism Science Discussions' started by Rasputin, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

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    I have read some theory on Asperger's perceived lack of empathy and lack of feelings of loss, but am curious about experiences of others.

    I have commented that I became quite emotional to the point of embarrassment when I was asked to speak at my best friend's funeral. That was over two years ago, and I still have those feelings today. Similarly I felt great loss when a pet Sheltie passed six years ago, and I have not been inclined to get another pet. On the other hand I experienced no emotion when my mother, father, aunt, uncle and grandparents passed. Now my best friend's brother was put in hospice last week and is expected to pass quickly. I know this person well, but did not have as close a relationship with him as with his brother. Also, I did not trust this man as he was very controlling and manipulative. In short I do not feel any loss and can not bring myself to visit him before he passes.

    My theory is that I accept death as a natural event; people die every day, and it is not logical to grieve every time someone passes or goes in hospice. I generally accept the inevitability of death prior to the person passing and feel nothing when they actually do pass. I don't think this is overload as some have theorized; I truly do not feel any emotion unless the person was very close to me and there was unquestioned trust and admiration. Few people meet this standard, not even blood relatives.

    I have two questions. (1) Do any of you respond to loss in the way I described, and (2) do I have any obligation to visit and fake feelings of sympathy for this man in hospice and for his family?
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
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  2. Varzar

    Varzar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    1) I respond exactly the same way.
    2) I would want to be there for my best friend, even if I don't care about his brother. My concern would be with making my best friend feel better.
     
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  3. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

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    Even though my best friend has been deceased for over two years?
     
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  4. Varzar

    Varzar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Oh.. Well then. No need to worry about that then. In that case, no I would not feel obligated to visit and fake feelings of sympathy at all.
     
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  5. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

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    I may visit anyway just out of respect for my deceased friend.
     
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  6. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I respond very much to loss. It’s very strong for people I love. I even cry at funerals of people I didn’t even like, because I feed off of other people’s emotions very strongly. A few years ago I was at a funeral for a great-aunt I did not like, but I cried a lot because her grandchildren held a speech and I could tell how much they had loved her, which made me mourn their loss. I also grieve a lot for pets.

    I don’t really respond to deaths of people I wasn’t close to (unless I’m at their funeral). I just note it and move on. I think my profession has made it easier for me to deal with death as a concept.


    In my job as house officer in a hospital I didn’t experience grief for patients that passed, unless I had grown attached to them or I felt like their deaths were the result of mistreatment. I actually felt a sense of peace when patients died after a long battle with sickness, surrounded by their loved ones. In these cases their death was a natural end to their disease.
    Feeling like I had done everything to make their last moments as comfortable as possible gave me a good feeling, and made it easier for me to comfort their loved ones without succumbing to grief myself.
     
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  7. Varzar

    Varzar Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Sure, if that works for ya. I don't particularly believe in any kind of afterlife beyond becoming food for worms.. So respecting a deceased person in my world is something they would have no way of knowing/caring about. But this is a "to each their own" sort of situation. :)
     
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  8. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    Do you want to go to grieve about your best friend passing? Then by all means go, or go to your best friend's grave and spend some quiet reflection time, or go to a place you hung out together maybe?

    But if you don't like this man but you feel guilty, send sympathy card to family or flowers or whatever l guess?
     
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  9. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

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    I am kind of like you regarding people I at least respect and know they have been in a lot of pain battling. If it is someone I didn't really know or didn't really respect I don't feel much or anything.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2019
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  10. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

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    I decided to tag along with someone else, more than anything else to appear socially acceptable. That is the only way I could visit.

    When his brother passed In had to speak at the funeral. That was painful for everyone in attendance. Could not speak or handle the emotion. I was very embarrassed afterwards.
     
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  11. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    It has been difficult for me to make sense of my limited emotional expressions, especially grief and empathy. I had always thought I came across as heartless because I would remain emotionless or have nothing comforting to say to anyone about death, disease, or accidents. My family disagrees with me that I have no empathy, so I must be presenting myself in an acceptable manner. I just can't produce words of comfort or extreme emotion to match the situation being addressed. In exchange, I am the stable one, able to maintain a cool head in the face of catastrophe. You do what you can and accept the reality.
     
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  12. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

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    You sound like me. Cognitively, at least I know I should express sympathy even if I don't feel anything.
     
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  13. Streetwise

    Streetwise very cautious contributor V.I.P Member

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    I just can’t understand that they’ve died I just keep thinking they’ve disappeared really just gone somewhere and I can’t find out where they are it’s the worst with animals it always sticks with me when I was trying to understand panic disorder and I heard about the ages that a child can understand ,under the age of three a child cannot understand the concept of death, they think the person has gone out of the room and will come back, I permanently feel like a baby so I’m definitely in that bracket, even though I can barely understand what I’m talking about.
     
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  14. Peter Morrison

    Peter Morrison Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I felt the same from what you wrote. I learned that in situations of sadness and loss, our actions should be supportive of those hurting and grieving. It isn't only about our own feelings or ability to respond to these situations. We are more important to the people we are close to than we imagine. It is at desperate times that our presence and acknowledgement are important. I believe that this is not intuitive to us. Consequently, we feel awkward.
     
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  15. Thinx

    Thinx Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I related to what @Bolletje said, and also to others here, I do cry at funerals, and have an empathic reaction to the grief of others that is very strong at such times. I feel very sad when someone I was close to dies, including pets, but I am not close to many people.

    My father died in 1999, and although I was sad, we didn't have a close relationship. I grieved more for him about 10 years later, when I was working near where his ashes were buried and could visit his grave, which I did a number of times, and took flowers and talked with him. Not out loud.

    I like to talk with people or pets I have lost, I have conversations with them, and in some cases continue to do so. With pets, I think it's the strength of the relationship between me and them, that keeps that thread alive, I still recall their company and their interesting ways.

    With people it's more mixed, sometimes I talk through issues that actually never were spoken of or properly acknowledged. Every one has their own way to grieve. Yes, I would certainly try to be supportive to others if they are grieving, but that may not include visiting a dying person.
     
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  16. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

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    I visited my friend"s brother in hospice today. I don't even think he knew I was there but his daughter was there. I don't know what I felt emotionally, but now I have an upset stomach. I did what was expected of me, and hope it was okay.
     
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  17. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

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    I did what was expected, and now feel ill. Not sure I would do it again.
     
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  18. Rasputin

    Rasputin Scholar and World Traveler V.I.P Member

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    I can relate if that helps any.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2019
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  19. Aspychata

    Aspychata My Art Work

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    I know my mother will move on and l have no idea how l will feel because we were never close. I tried to connect but she chose to never have much of a relationship. So l probably will have no feelings, am l supposed to fake cry? l doubt l can. l will be the only dry eyes if l am invited to her funeral.