A friend of mine sent me the following Twitter thread tweeted out last night by comedian and writer Michael Cruz Kayne. It’s refreshing to see him be so honest about such personal loss, and it’s telling that he is sharing about his grief so vividly even ten years after his family’s loss. Kudos to him for sharing, and for trying to provide insights to others about what experiencing the grief of infant loss is like.
this isn’t really what twitter is for, but ten years ago today my son died and I basically never talk about it with anyone other than my wife. it’s taken me ten years to realize that I want to talk about it all the time.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
this is about grief
most of the conversations we have about grieving are very very weird. tragedy is still so taboo, even in the era of the overshare. it’s all very *sorry for your loss* and tilted heads and cards with calligraphy on them and whispering. we’re all on tiptoes all the time.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
but grief is not one thing, it is a galaxy of emotions, most of which are put in orbit by the loss of someone you loved, and the harrowing (or not) circumstances surrounding that loss. but we only get to talk about one part publicly: the sadness.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
but there is more! some things make me angry: when the hospital prepared us for his death, one of the doctors kept saying “your daughter” repeatedly until I said through gritted teeth “he is a boy”.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
some things make me confused: we cremated our son. how the fuck does that work? like, what are steps one through ten of that process?— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
some things make me laugh: the funeral home handed us a receipt after our son’s funeral that said “thank you come again” at the bottom.
our dead son has a twin, who is very much alive. and he’s really just great. and that’s crazy too, because the better he is, the more i’m like ahhhhh shit I wish his brother were alive.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
and they both have a sister, who asked us to put an extra candle in her brother’s birthday cake, and who led us in writing a story about her dead brother tonight— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
(and yeah we talk about our dead son with our living kids all the time because idk that’s what we decided to do?)
anyway.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
all of those thoughts, up until recently, have basically been kept to conversations with my (amazing) wife and (fine) family (jk also amazing). and now I want to share them. and I bet you have a friend with a sad story also wants to share the not sad parts.
my dead son has a legacy already, in my wife, who became a pediatric intensive care nurse because of him. can you believe it? being around sick and dying children all day? healing/caring for them? she does that because of my son.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
and maybe now, a decade later, i’m ready to contribute a tiny bit to his legacy also, with a plea:— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
*ask your sad friend about the sad thing that you never talked about*
grief is isolating, but not just because of the sadness. also because the sadness is the only part about it that anyone knows.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
not a single person has ever been unkind about my son, but almost no one considers the fullness of his loss and how complicated and weird and everything else it was and continues to be.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
having just recently started talking to other grievers, I know many of them feel the same.
ask your friend about the sad thing that you never talk about, and be open to the depth of that experience.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
one day, and I mean this without grimness or condescension, everyone you know will be dead. it will help us if we talk about it. or anyway it is helping me.
if you are grieving, you are not alone.— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
fisher daniel kayne forever and ever pic.twitter.com/UVvOiwPZrb— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019