Sunday, February 10, 2013

Aspergers & Death - Caution: Raw & Unedited

Disclaimer: Death is a sensitive topic. I know this. I am aware of this. I want to give you a view into my head, this doesn't apply to every death or every person with Aspergers. None of my thoughts are meant to diminish the tragic nature of death whether expected or unexpected. Thank you for understanding, and not becoming offended by my thoughts which can be misinterpreted to be insensitive. (They are NOT meant to be insensitive.)

Death. Just the word makes us shudder inside, doesn't it? I think every person feels about the same about death in general. 

For me, though, whether its a part of my coping specifically or a part of Aspergers, I tend to view death differently than most people. Briefly, first off, I do not believe in the idea of an everlasting hell where people would burn forever. It does not exist, I do not believe in it, and I have never found proof that it is a Biblical view. So take that in mind. The dead are mearly "asleep", as the Bible frequently references to. (For more information please go to

Now that I am clear about my position on death from a religious standpoint, I want to tell you my thoughts when facing a death.

First of all, if the person had habits that contributed to their death, I have a harder time feeling the sadness. (No offense intended to any family members of the example given!!) For example, if a person smokes their whole life long, and they die of lung, or other related cancers, I feel more sad that they never kicked the habit, that they had to have known that their habit was endangering their health, and somehow they didn't think working to quit was worth the effort. This may or may not be true in every case, but that's my self protecting, logical thought process on those kinds of situations. 

If a person had a disease that was life threatening, obviously, I feel less sad about their death. It was almost expected, and I have feelings of relief. I do not believe it is fair for people to have to suffer through life, and when illness and disease plagues people, I feel that a death, even when unexpected, its a relief to me. That person is no longer suffering, and if they believed in Jesus, they can awake to a perfect and healthy body that they did not have while in this life. I think very little of my own sadness, but I think of what a person might have had to endure had their life continued.

I think a lot of times we consider a person's death in the perspective of our own pain. Does death hurt? Yes it sincerely and completely devastates our lives, and of course the closer to us it is the more devastating. I do not intend or mean to diminish or discount the feelings of pain, frustration, anger, denial, depression and the like that people experience when someone they know dies. Those feelings are real, and they are sincere. They are not something anyone should be ashamed of, nor should anyone feel they should have to hide their feelings.

That being said, depending on the case, we have to consider what would the life of the dead be like if they did not die, but instead had medical procedures/lifesaving procedures done or whatnot to prevent their death? If someone has nearly drown, and is in a coma or something, for example, what are we bringing them back to? The odds are high that when oxygen is cut off from the brain, you risk brain damage, or memory loss or other misc injury. What are we bringing them back to? If someone has suffered from disease or harm for many years, and starts to pass on, what are we trying to save them from death for? Are we really trying to bring them back to their life of suffering and pain? Or are we trying to bring them back to us so WE don't have to feel the pain? Do you know what I mean? Many times we focus on our own pain, our own feelings. It is perfectly natural for this to happen, humans are naturally self focused, because its hard to logic it out when you are emotional. For me though, I see the logical in order to deal with the emotional. The relief of a passing of someone who has suffered so long overcomes my feelings of sadness and anger that would make one wish that things had been different.

Some people get angry and lash out at God, but I say God knows better than we do. God knows better what the outcomes might be. And we must not forget the power that satan has to destroy and torture in our lives as well. There's a battle here, between God who shares in our pain and misery, and satan who revels in it, and creates it in his "spare time" for the fun of it. Don't forget that when facing a death. 

So basically, I logic things out. I help see the situation from a point of view of sense, order and logic. Yes, I can think of a person and sob, I can go to the funeral and feel as if I won't ever stop crying. I can be extremely distressed inside that I didn't see or talk to someone in a long time, and now they're gone. I get those feelings too. This goes along with my writing on empathy, I do have empathy. But perhaps because I can feel it sometimes too intensely, I tend to throw the logic in there to help myself deal and focus. Trust me, even funerals where I haven't cried over the person's death, I leave exhausted and overwhelmed because of all the emotions of others. I don't go to many funerals, except when I have a purpose - whether I cared deeply about the person who died, or their friends or family. I try to reduce my facing those intense situations if I can help it.

Anyway, those are my scatterbrained thoughts right now. We are going through the death of a very dear friend, one I haven't had much time with in the past few years. She'd been ill for a long long time, but nothing that was supposed to have been fatal. It's really painful. But honestly, I am grateful for her life, and for God's mercy in not forcing her to endure more years of tests, hospitalizations, and dead end hopeless cures for all the pain and struggles she had. She leaves behind very close loving family, but no friends because if you were a friend of hers, you were not just a friend you were FAMILY. So you can see that although I am so sorry I didn't get more time with her, especially in recent years, I am grateful that she doesn't have to suffer. She never deserved the suffering she endured. She was a fighter, but she doesn't have to fight anymore. And some glorious morning, not too far in the future, she can wake up to that perfect, healthy body that she never experienced in this life, and all the pain from her life and early death will be erased and forgotten. I look forward to seeing her physically the way I always saw her in my heart. 


  1. First, I want to say I am sorry for your loss. Losing a close friend, or family member is hard, and way different to me than someone who you didn't have as much of a connection with. I don't have much experience on losing anyone close to me that I cared for deeply. My grandmother, and my daughter are the only ones My grandmother was very, very ill with cancer for a very long time before her passing, as well as she was older, so it wasn't like she died while she had little time to experience her life. While I was sad when she passed 2 yrs ago, I was okay with it.

    My daughter was stillborn due to a fatal birth defect, and I did not handle that as well. I don't like to talk about it, think about it, or visit her grave. I dealt with it very privately, and over a long period of time. I barely mention anything about it still, and it happened 8 yrs ago.

    My beliefs also lend themselves to logic, as I don't believe in any god, or afterlife, so for me here is all you have. I have no customs, or ideas about meeting people after I die.

  2. Hi Ericka,

    I am very sorry for your loss. I know that losing a friend, even one that you haven't had much time for lately is hard. I unfortunately have had this experience.

    Much like Quiet Contemplation stated above, I have not had very much experience with the death of those close to me (Thank God), but I do understand your logic behind death itself.

    My grandfather passed away in 1988, and I didn't take that well, but I find it difficulty if not impossible to cry in front of people, which includes funerals. I had to arrive early to sit with him alone, and/or leave late. When I think of him now, I still have trouble hold back a tear.

    I don't know why I cannot cry in front of others, or why when I become sad I lock mysel in the bathroom and stay there until my eyes are no longer red, and you cannot tell I was sobbing. It is something I just cannot explain.

    My grandpa's death was sudden and unexpected, but he was 75 years old, and it is not completely "unexpected" at that point, even if painful for me. My father now is very sick, but his lifestyle makes it hard for me to feel sadness for his suffering even now in life at times. Dying from smoking and drinking, and still not willing to do anything to help yourself or stop your destructive habits saps the sympathy right out of me.

    I think that when I know it is coming too, I begin to pull back and separate myself--I know I have done that with my Dad.

    Two years ago, while visiting him in the hospital in NYC (one of the times that he was not supposed to wake back up, but did)I wound up at the funeral of one of my oldest friends. I had not seen her much in the ten years prior to her death because I lived so far away, but I have literally know her since her birth.

    Logic in her situation (she was murdered by her boyfriend when trying to break up with him) did not help me...that funeral I cried at, at her parents pain, at my brother's anguish, at the senseless of it all. Hers still hits me at times because it was senseless violence that should not have happened.

    I guess I say all this to tell you that I understand what you mean, and that the situations--elderly, illness, etc. do affect me differently--emotionally. Yes there is relief, and gladness for the person, while sadness for me--but in other situations there is no relief. Doesn't everyone logic things out and feel this way??

    1. Exactly. Saps the sympathy right out.

      My friend's death was an accident. It wasnt expected and especially after her fathers death, it is causing a lot more pain ....