Death. A hard topic of discussion. An harder topic to write about.
Recently, my last and closest grandfather passed away. He was old and his body just did not have anything left after caring for my grandmother,who has dementia, for the last decade or so by himself. Even so, it was a shock to our family, as he was suppose to last at least ten more years, since his side of the family lived quite long and the whole family presumed he would keep going just as they did.
Now that I have experienced a few people I have known die in my life time, I can say that each death affected me vastly differently. This one was was different than all the rest. It was not like my first grandfather that passed when I was still living in my own world and could barely comprehend death, thus giving off this feeling as if I was being strong for my sister. Nor was it like the kid I knew when I was in high school, who himself was just in middle school, who tragically passed after accidentally overdosing on pain medicine. Which took a big toll on me emotionally. Nor was it like the time when one of my Fraternity brothers tragically died on the way to a Alabama football game, where me and other brothers were waiting on him to join as we hosted a tailgate. Another huge emotional toll. Nor was it like my step-grandfathers passing, which like my other grandfather just was not very emotional to me. Maybe for the first two grandfathers that passed, it was just more logical scenarios. Compared to all the others though, this death just plain shocked me. The only time I cried was when I saw him in the casket. Each time and situation was different, because each individual death was different in my perspective. It was not like I was not sad that some of these people passed but for whatever reason, my thoughts and actions did not synch up to the point where there was a synonymous reaction to each one.
A common myth many believe is that people on the Autism Spectrum do not have empathy or
lack empathy. Each passing I believe I was empathetic in my own way. We tend to try to justify just because someone is different that all their actions will be predicated on that difference instead of seeing that emotion is varied depending on the circumstances and the individual.
Those that know me, know that I have a tattoo on my arm dedicated for those people I know that have passed from this world. It coincides with my Fraternity's chapter that has been made for brothers that have passed. The image below is it, and it is an omega. I also made a phrase to remind myself of it. It goes "Honor those who have crossed into death before us, full knowing we will see them again."-Truth(My alter ego)
Mark Fleming- Person on the Autism Spectrum