Friday, June 8, 2012 Permalink

Until my father became sick and passed away last October, I thought the saddest thing I would experience last year would be a Donate Life Remembrance ceremony I attended with my family in June. Similar events are held annually around the country to acknowledge organ and tissue donors and recipients. 

In the post I wrote afterwards I confessed to bawling through the entire thing. To this day I cannot listen to Wendy Matthews’ The Day You Went Away without crying. All recent Dad-related stuff aside.

I didn’t expect to find it that sad. But, from the moment I arrived EVERYTHING about the event evoked much emotion.

I take on others’ feelings. It’s one of my weaknesses. I  feel bad when characters do embarrassing things on TV. I worry about how others’ react to certain things. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m an overly considerate person… just that I soak up emotion from those around me.

The ceremony last June was distressing from the moment we arrived. In my previous post I talked about some of the people we saw. I literally absorbed their intensity and  the collective trauma was palpable. Sure, the ceremony’s about celebrating new life, renewed life and the generous gifts of others, but it’s also about loss. Lost opportunities, lost potential and lost loved ones.

Well, it’s that time again.

This year will be even more fraught (for me – and quite frankly, it’s all about me, isn’t it?!) since Dad’s passing. I want to go to acknowledge the generous gift he (and we) received, but it will be a stark reminder that he’s no longer with us – something I try not think about….

  • Kek
    June 8, 2012

    Oh, I’m exactly the same. I always absorb others’ emotions. WAY too empathic. I cannot watch The Office or even old episodes of Fawlty Towers because I cringe and hide behind my hands in embarrassment. And when I worked in HR, I would come home exhausted from dealing with other people’s problems.

    There is no way in hell I would attend a service like that. I’ve sobbed and bawled my way around the Mothers Day Classic course on numerous occasions, remembering my good friend Jose; I shed a tear or three every time I drive past the cemetery where my mate Michael is buried (unfortunately, that’s most days on my way home from work) and I don’t think there’s been a day over the past three years where I haven’t thought of my Dad.

    This is a bit spooky, but that particular Wendy Matthews song is on my funeral song list. Yes, I have one…. Hey, you bury a few friends, you think about this stuff.

    • Debbish
      June 8, 2012

      Kerryn, there are certain shows and movies etc I won’t watch because I can’t cope with the embarrassment factor! (Me feeling bad for them!)


  • KCLAnderson (Karen)
    June 9, 2012


    Oh my…we have much in common. I am the same way. I try not to view it as a weakness, but rather a strength…a gift. But I am also trying to learn how to protect myself from taking on others’ emotions (especially if they cause me stress).

    • Debbish
      June 9, 2012

      That’s true Karen, that it isn’t necessarily a weakness. I used to think it was akin to an ’emotional intelligence’ of sorts and liked that I was conscious / aware of others’ feelings. I was wondering if it is a female thing, but I know women who aren’t overly cognisant / in touch with others’ emotions.

      I think my niece is similar as I still remember when she was very little we were watching some silly show on TV and I looked at her to see her hiding her head under her arms, peeking through as she was embarrassed for one of the characters. It was the first time I’d noticed anyone but me with the same affliction!

  • Mel
    June 9, 2012

    thinking of you…

    • Debbish
      June 9, 2012

      Thanks Mel. Nothing to do but suck it up and remember why I’m going… (It isn’t really *ahem* about me!) xx

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