What is it about bad news that hurts so much?
Is it the content of the news itself?
Is it the initial shock of it?
Yeah, it’s the shock.
The things that you never see coming do so much damage you sometimes forget about the aftermath of the incident. (see Pearl Harbor,9/11, James Evans and Kurt Wagner’s deaths.) Please know that this entry is in no way belittling damaging events in your lives, but I’m talking about finding out about what happened. The news flash. The phone call. The moment you answer the phone and you just know something is horribly amiss.
For the second year in a row Mother’s Day weekend was the vehicle that delivered bad news. Both times the messages were the same but the bearers of the bad news were different. Both times the message was unfortunately cancer. The last year’s message was delivered from my biggest little sister (breast) and this year the message was from my pops (prostate).
*In the span of 365 days cancer has moved up the list of things I hate in a swift manner. Think of it as a horrid song that keeps climbing the charts because its, catchy!* On yesterday, I called home to talk to My Family Agents of M.E. and to wish my mom a happy Mother’s Day. When I called my father picked up the phone and we began to talk. I asked how he was doing and that’s when the news dropped.
“They say I have prostate cancer.” were the words uttered by my pops in his usual baritone.
Immediately my end of the phone fell silent for a few seconds while I replayed what was just said to me.
“F**k!” was my initial thought.
I honestly couldn’t think of anything else to say until i snapped myself out of the haze I was beginning to slip into and resumed my conversation with my pops. I knew he had an examine done a few weeks ago as a routine but I didn’t know the results were back yet. A gaffe that I take full responsibility for. (No Joe Biden) As we continued to talk about the situation I fought the urge to feel like a little kid that just learned how messed up the world could actually be. (Think, getting your ice cream cone getting knocked in the dirt.) Luckily the cancer is in the beginning stages and I talked to my pops for about 20 minutes and eventually I talked to my mom. I wished her a happy Mom’s Day and we began to talk about my father. She could sense that I was barely holding on, but didn’t press the issue. Next, I talked to my littlest big sister who was at home with my parents.
After about an hour and 20 minutes, I said my goodbyes and again tried to process what I had just heard. Being the over thinker that I am, my mind began to spin wildly out of control thinking about my father’s situation. My appetite found a bus to catch not long after this. Then I tried to take a nap because NBA basketball would only make things worse. Because of the days bad news I spent all Sunday afternoon from around 3 o’clock until I closed my eyes to go to bed that night trying to process what was going on. It did get better when I actually did something out of character for me: I let it out.
Miss Moneypenny was there and she listened. It still wasn’t easy but the stress of the bad news was alleviated by just saying what was on my mind. After all of yesterday’s events I’m still stuck trying to figure out why the initial shock stings so bad when the content is much more horrible. I guess that’s why sucker punches hurt much more than the ones you see coming. This is the only answer I have for now because I can’t call it.
So for the few people who may read this, I’ve got a question: Why does the shock of news hurt so bad?
How do you deal with it?
Let me know!