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Thread: So, this guy I work with was shot and killed last night

  1. #1
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    Default So, this guy I work with was shot and killed last night

    I found out this morning (got called in to cover his shift).

    It's really weird....I knew the guy, but not as well as everyone else did. From what I can tell, he was pretty cool --- we used to mess around a lot, he always came in about an hour before I had to leave. Everybody at work is really upset (understandably), and the GM is even considering closing the store for a day so everyone can go to the funeral.

    I feel kinda weird, though....I dunno if it's because I'm an atheist or because of something else, but I've already sort of made my peace with the concept of death --- the fact that people die, sometimes unexpectedly, doesn't really contradict anything I believe about the world, so it doesn't really "surprise" me in that sense, even though I do have some kind of emotional response to it. I mean, I was still a bit taken back by it (I mean, damn, the guy got shot standing outside a club, he wasn't doing anything at all, just hanging out, that could've been me on another night), but it didn't stick with me and make me question my life or my motives or my beliefs, or anything, like it seems to be doing with other people. I didn't even try to bring THAT one up, for obvious reasons, but I was still curious: Is it "weird" that I'm not having some kind of massive emotional reaction to this?

    I'm not saying that to sound all jaded and cool, either; I actually get this feeling like maybe I'm too emotionally-detached from the concept of death. But death was something that always worried me when I was a kid; I thought about it a lot, and I feel kinda like I've come to terms with it (I mean, I'm really not "scared" of death, myself, even though I still try to avoid it at all costs --- but that just seems like the natural reaction to me, nothing really profound about it). But at the same time --- maybe even just due to some weird kind of "peer pressure" --- I can't help but wonder if I'm just being a dick to myself about it, in some weird way, like denying my emotions or something.

    I dunno. Perhaps none of this makes sense? In any case, the question I'd like to ask that would help me out the most right now is, How do you (or would you, if it hasn't happened to you) deal with the death of a friend, coworker or family member? Do you think you could handle it? Or do you think it would shake your beliefs or make you uncertain about things?

    I hope this doesn't seem too cold of me...but I was kinda hoping to get some kind of perspective on how people see death.
    Last edited by Static_Martyr; 12-05-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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  2. #2
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    It's never made me question my beliefs when someone dies, it's a simple case of logic. People have to die at some point, some people, unfortunately, die a lot sooner than others. Doesn't change the fact that it sucks, though, especially when it's unexpected.
    It might be fair to point out that I was more upset when I had to put my cat to sleep a few months back than I was when my grandpa died a couple months earlier, or when my other grandpa died when I was still in high school, so I may not exactly be the most normal person when it comes to dealing with death either.

  3. #3
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    It doesn't seem like you are close to him. When my cousin died a few years back I just thought about how I wouldn't be able to see him ever again and that it is horrible that he died at such a young age and even that passed quickly. It was the same for my grandfather, I just kind of regretted not knowing him more and was a little distraught that I would never be able to see him again, but I've never had any real emotional responses to this. Actually, even when I was told my cousin died (brandon) and thought that it was my sister with three kids (brenda) I wasn't all that worked up. I was just concerned about what would happen to her kids.

    All that said I'm pretty sure if a close friend died or someone I was really close too, it'd tear me up. Just thinking about how I will never see someone again that I never saw anyway is a shitty feeling but bearable. But to think about never being able to see a close friend again, never being able to talk to them, or anything. I don't know, I'm afraid of how it'd affect me.

    I've been kind of thinking about my dads death a little bit. The other day he said something like this 'you need to get your stuff straight, get in school so you can get a job, I won't be around a whole lot longer' I was thinking about it before he said that, but that kinda stuck with me. He is in his 60's and isn't exactly healthy. I expect that it'd be awful to lose my dad, we aren't real close, but he is still my dad. To be honest, I think part of the reason I think about this (again, even before he brought it up) is because I have no idea what I would do if my dad died.
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  4. #4
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    There is nothing unnatural or wrong at all about your reaction to this guy's death. I would probably feel it a little more than you did, but I think it would be strange to be overly sad about it. He wasn't a significant part of your life. When a person very close to you dies, your main sources of grief are thoughts about his impact in your life; the past: the good times you and he had and what he has meant to you, present: the actual cause of death, the last time you saw him (especially if it was within days of death), and future: the prospect of having to live the rest of your life without this person. See, none of this stuff really applies to you, so it's only expected that you're not mourning over him. Especially given that you have such an enlightened view of death. Now, if someone close to you were to pass away (universe forbid), don't think you'll get off this easy. It's completely impossible to intellectualize the death of a close loved one, as I have found out.

    Heh, I'm also really confused on why you're surprised about not questioning anything. There's really nothing left for you to question as an athiest, I think. Based on what you've shared about your coworkers, their concept of God's providence to the faithful has been shattered, and they don't know how to deal with it yet. As a somewhat religious person, even when my wife died, I didn't really feel any need to question my beliefs. I'd recognized that I had seen other peoples' children, wives, brothers, die and always knew it could happen to me at any time. Anyway, I don't know if that last point was relevant, but I guess it all depends on your personal concept of death. Don't beat yourself up for how you feel about something. It's natural, so however strange it may seem, you can't change it.
    Last edited by randman21; 12-05-2010 at 04:32 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Guy Static_Martyr worked with is DEAD.


    Is he one of the guys you were having problems with at work? I'm not saying that makes his life any less valuable or mourn-worthy, but it seems like the petty shit you were putting up with at work wouldn't help build any kind of personal feelings for him if that were the case.

    I'm pretty shaken up about things like that, I guess. Maybe I'm just a sensitive wimp or something.

  6. #6
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    It seems a little odd that atheism and 'your beliefs' seem to work themselves into just about everything I've read from you.

    Obviously it's a big part of who you are and all, but there is a difference in personality and beliefs. While once influences the other to a degree, I think you're approaching a darker shade of grey. You should be known as yourself first, and then your beliefs. At some point you stop being 'static martyr who happens to be an atheist', and start being 'an atheist, specifically static martyr'

    I'm not going after atheism in particular, but maybe you should put away the rubrics of your beliefs on this one. 'Go with your heart,' if I can be totally cliche. Didn't know the guy that well? Didn't have the emotional attachment? Then it's not that weird that you don't feel much. Just be sincere around the workplace, fake it if you have to.
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  7. #7
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    Basically, I second everything AlCo has to say on the subject. Whatever your belief constructs are, if you weren't particularly close to someone who has died, it's not a big deal not to be busted up about it. Not every death brings a person some sort of startling clarity reachable only through traumatic loss. I get the sense that this is one of the first times you've experienced a peer/colleague's death since being a confirmed atheist. I was a practicing Christian until I was about 13, and it was after I stopped going to church that I started going to a lot of friends' funerals. [My high school had about 3,000 students, so it was statistically likely that many would die in the course of a year.] A few of them were very close losses. It never made me question my beliefs, it just made me feel sad that they were gone considering everything they could have done. But some of them, you just feel sad that there is a family out there completely destroyed over this loss, you express your condolences and sympathies, and you get on with things.
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  8. #8
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    Would depend on so many things how I would react. Did I know the person well, did I like him / her, were we close or not.

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    I think that it depends on the circumstances of getting to know that he died, too. When I heard of the death of a close relative, I was surprised by how calm I reacted. But then again, I got to know of it second-hand.
    In your case, it must have been pretty shocking because it happened so immediately, but nevertheless I can understand how you feel.
    In spite of everything, this is horrible news. Do things like this happen often where you live?
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  10. #10
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    I don't think I've ever questioned my beliefs even when my grandmother died a few years back. However, only a few days ago my pony was put to sleep due to an intestine problem. I hadn't seen it coming, and I found myself saying "she's in a better place now" to try make it easier to deal with. I wish I could believe it.

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