Judgement

I have a new hobby.  Which is weird in that I’ve decided on at least 17 new hobbies I want to pursue, but never seem to get past the “buy the book” stage of the situation.  I have lots of books about new hobbies.

I  judge deaths.

I look through the obituaries of the local newspapers in Michigan and check them all.  Is it someone I know? (it never is).  How old is the decedent?  Younger than 75? (too young).  Is the word “suddenly” included in the obituary of a middle-aged person (today there was one).

For the Grand Rapids obituaries, I wonder if I’ll see new members at my sad parents group.  If not, I hope they shelter at one of the other sad parent’s groups around the city.  Everyone needs the support.

With the exception of infant deaths, everyone is smiling in their final pictures.  I like that, but it makes me even more sad.  Although, to be fair, the photo we chose for Z’s obituary didn’t inclulde a smile.  It was a prom picture.  She looked like a sprite engulfed in pink fluff in front of Lake Michigan.

Everyone gets an okay/not okay judgement from me.  Age is the only criteria.

How many parents survived?  How many people feel the loss?  Did a mother or father lose a partner in addition to a child?  Level II unacceptable.  Was there an entire family lost at one time?  Level III unacceptable.

I don’t judge the method of loss (an overdose is no more or less tragic than a long disease).  I don’t judge income (grief does not check in on bank account balances).  I don’t judge race or gender or family status (no life is unworthy of longevity).

I mine the papers for adjacent grief.  I mourn with those that don’t know I’m looking on from afar.  I’m not compelled to visit anyone or drop a note.  I just offer silent prayer and I get it.

Really, I want to make pants (I hate shopping for pants).  I want to make backpacks and tote bags (I even purchased the material for a cool tote bag).  I’d rather be a comedy writer (I’m looking for a hulu exec to option my half-scripts).  I’d rather be a professional back-yard whiskey maker.  I’d rather keep chickens and goats.  Or buffalo.  That’d be cool.

I could clean out my basement.  I could organize my pantry.  Instead I read obituaries and commune through the universe with those that don’t know I’m looking out for them.

I don’t welcome anyone to this stupid group.  I merely watch for them coming and hold the door open.

0 stars.  Would not recommend.

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