Comedian Michael Cruz Kayne recently took to Twitter to open up about the varying range of emotions he experienced following his son's death.
Losing a loved one is a painful experience and life-changing experience that most of us choose to go through alone. Talking about our grief requires us to put ourselves in such a vulnerable position that we'd rather put on a brave face in front of the world while we mourn our loss in private. As hard as it is to muster up the courage and strength to open up about our loss and how it's affecting us, the stigma attached to grief and society's awkward approach to it, makes it even more difficult for one to have an open conversation about it.
Comedian Michael Cruz Kayne recently took to Twitter to break this uncomfortable silence to discuss the multifaceted nature of grief. 10 years ago, Kayne lost his son and spoke of the varying emotions he experienced and how it's important to give those grieving a chance to talk about their loss. "This isn't really what Twitter is for but ten years ago today my son died and I basically never talk about it with anyone other than my wife. It's taken me ten years to realize that I want to talk about it all the time. This is about grief," Kayne wrote.
The father-of-two continued, "Most of the conversations we have about grieving are very very weird. Tragedy is still so taboo, even in the era of the overshare. it's all very *sorry for your loss* and tilted heads and cards with calligraphy on them and whispering. We're all on tiptoes all the time. But grief is not one thing, it is a galaxy of emotions, most of which are put in orbit by the loss of someone you loved, and the harrowing (or not) circumstances surrounding that loss. But we only get to talk about one part publicly: the sadness."
fisher daniel kayne forever and ever pic.twitter.com/UVvOiwPZrb— MCK (@CruzKayne) November 19, 2019
Kayne went on to talk about the emotional rollercoaster he experienced following his son's death, from anger to confusion to the comedic. "Some things make me angry: When the hospital prepared us for his death, one of the doctors kept saying 'your daughter' repeatedly until I said through gritted teeth 'he is a boy.' Some things make me confused: We cremated our son. How the fuck does that work? Like, what are steps one through ten of that process? Some things make me laugh: The funeral home handed us a receipt after our son's funeral that said 'thank you come again' at the bottom," he wrote.
Kayne revealed how looking at his deceased son's twin, who has grown up to be a wonderful 10-year-old, sometimes makes him wish he'd never lost his little boy. "Our dead son has a twin, who is very much alive. And he's really just great. And that's crazy too because the better he is, the more I'm like ahhhhh... s**t I wish his brother were alive. And they both have a sister, who asked us to put an extra candle in her brother's birthday cake, and who led us in writing a story about her dead brother tonight," Kayne wrote.
The comedian continued, "All of those thoughts, up until recently, have basically been kept to conversations with my (amazing) wife and (fine) family (jk also amazing). And now I want to share them. And I bet you have a friend with a sad story who also wants to share the not sad parts. My dead son has a legacy already, in my wife, who became a pediatric intensive care nurse because of him. Can you believe it? Being around sick and dying children all day? Healing/caring for them? She does that because of my son."
Wanting to contribute a little of his own to his son's legacy, Kayne extended a plea to his followers on Twitter. "Ask your sad friend about the sad thing that you never talked about. Grief is isolating, but not just because of the sadness. Also because the sadness is the only part about it that anyone knows. Not a single person has ever been unkind about my son, but almost no one considers the fullness of his loss and how complicated and weird and everything else it was and continues to be. Having just recently started talking to other grievers, I know many of them feel the same," he wrote.
"Ask your friend about the sad thing that you never talk about, and be open to the depth of that experience. One day and I mean this without grimness or condescension, everyone you know will be dead. It will help us if we talk about it. Or anyway it is helping me. If you are grieving, you are not alone," Kayne concluded.