Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by seebs, Mar 4, 2018.
I would just like to state that this is a beautiful description.
as someone who thinks about death and america’s backwards death practices A Lot, i’m honestly...not sure how i feel about having A Special Forum For Death And Only Death. i absolutely understand the sentiment and i'm not saying i'm like, definitively right or anything, but on a personal level it feels like, well intentioned as it is, once more making death a thing that is not to be talked about in polite company (except in our very special sacred place).
the problem with death culture in america (i suppose the rest of the west has problems on this front as well, but it's really mostly america) is that it's too formal, too Sacred And Distant And Respectful. you don't want to see a dead person, oh no, that's ucky and might actually evoke emotions, which they don't want either. no crying too loudly, no genuine grief that doesn't fit into your local funeral home's schedule. quarantining death further away from the forum...i don't know. i'll go with whatever everyone wants, but i'm personally super uncomfortable with sweeping death under the rug when it's already in a special location for loss.
losing a friend or a romantic partner can feel the same as that friend or romantic partner actually dying. it's not a zero sum game, sympathy for someone finding out they have a chronic illness or their pet dying or getting cut off from their friend group doesn't take sympathy away from people who are dying/knew someone who died. i say let all that messy grief hang out, if that's what you wanna do. some people are going to want to have a quiet, private, sacred space to mourn. some people are going to want to throw themselves on the ground with all the other mourners and just wail. if possible, both of these should be accomodated
i'm not saying My Way Is The Only Right Way, i like and respect everyone in this thread and i don't want to trample on people, but, hm. that's my onion, i guess. if there's going to be an death-only forum or subforum (preferably in addition to general-purpose grief), i'd be a lot more comfortable if i knew i could use the general-purpose forum and talk about it in places other than the death-only subforum.
@cassikat beat me to a lot of what I wanted to say already. As someone who's experienced the death of a close family member recently, I'm personally fine with people processing loss of many kinds in Witness Me. The loss I've experienced has felt pretty isolating in my meatspace life, because at least where I'm from it's treated as, like, The Worst Thing That Could Possibly Happen and I've had countless people say "I can't possibly understand what you're going through" or "you must be feeling so (thing I haven't felt at all)". Seeing other types of loss with similar processing in the same space has helped me feel less isolated. I'll abide by what's decided, but that's a big portion of why I personally wouldn't find a death-only space useful.
Also, if exclusively death is relegated to Witness Me, I'll be worried that I can't talk about it in other areas of the site, like my vent thread. As it is, I've been using the wm thread for things that require processing or I want support or other perspectives on, and my vent thread for the dish hurling screaming phases of grief and bitching about all the petty annoyances that come crawling out of the woodwork with this sort of thing. If we say WM is exclusively for death, are we saying that it's also the exclusive space for death? I'd appreciate some clarification on this issue if that's what we as a forum decided.
I don’t think I’ve seen anyone saying that death should only be in in the witness me forum, rather that the witness me forum should only have death in it. Not ALL death, but ONLY death.
I'm just going to throw in that I remain uncomfortable with 'must be this [emotion] to ride' as a suggestion for any part of the forum. I will refrain from the suggestion I made last time, though, as I don't think we need cute animals for the sake of cute animals in Witness Me.
I think that type rather than degree of thing is a really good way to judge: as was said earlier, Witness Me is a great place for emotional support and finding someone to listen, with a different sort of accompanying mentality than the holler closet.
sure, but that naturally leads to, for my anxious ass anyway, "if death has its own subforum, am i even allowed to use other places to talk about it?" so explicit confirmation that i can talk about death elsewhere if i want would be really helpful in soothing a lot of my anxieties about it.
@cassikat as far as I'm concerned, you can talk about death in general anywhere you feel is appropriate. It's a normal part of life. The general advice thread at one point had funeral clothes advice. The only caveats I'd really advise at all are the ones you probably already follow, like 'probably spoilered if it's violent or self-inflicted'.
I'm on a quick break at work so I'll respond to @seebs real quick. It's a little embarrassing as a mod to be told one thing by one former fellow mod and then have another come in like "well he was never really a mod also I wanted it this other way I never said." My impression was that Luka stepped back, for sure, but he did a lot of mod things back in the day. That's why I was annoyed with Seebs, specifically, but not with the idea of Witness Me being expanded. I feel like there are a lot of good arguments both ways and I'm okay with whatever everyone decides.
As for why not sooner, it's because I didn't notice sooner.
So, I think the question here isn't exactly "should this be expanded", because that implies that it was definitely exclusive-to-death originally. And I don't think we actually had a clear agreement on this in the first place. I checked with Luka, who currently feels that "if you feel it's warranted" is a good rule for the forum. But he was originally thinking more specific-to-death, and I really wanted it to be for broader grief/loss things. And we just sort of never resolved that.
So we definitely have a question "should this be exclusively for death-type losses", but we actually have no idea whether the question is "should we make it more inclusive so it covers non-death loss" or "should we make it more restrictive so it's only about death". Because to answer that, we'd have to have an actual clear statement either way, and we appear not to; we have some conversations or posts that imply things about it, but they're very approximate and don't indicate a clear consensus.
So I don't really want Even More Forums. But I also think Beldaran's got a good point about some kind of distinction being relevant.
What about, say, a thread tag for that forum only that you can use to mark threads as being specifically about-death?
A tag might be the better solution, because it conveys a expectation for the thread that is not applied as a whole to the subforum.
Also agreed, but I think it's quite reasonable and useful for the relevant distinction to be between bereavement and other things, as opposed to "death-like experiences" and other things. Bereavement, as a concept, is easier to define and (in my opinion) clearer to people than "death as in the Tarot card". Acknowledging that bereavement can occur in contexts other than death does not deny that dealing with death is a unique form of trauma; it simply identifies it as part of a subcategory of trauma, which is distinguished by significantly similar traits.
On a personal level, I appreciate the subforum being about bereavement because my therapists keep telling me that it's important to recognise (and have others recognise) that I am experiencing genuine bereavement, because denying it is a harmful obstacle to the grieving process. Not every trauma is a form of bereavement, but this one was.
One of the reasons I liked that I thought we had a place specifically for death was the opposite of what some people are worried about here, and also why I like the "is this abuse" subforum so much. Because without a place For it a lot of people will often think it's Too Much for being talked about anywhere. Death and abuse often fall in that category, and unless people are seen talking about it and there is a space made for it (like ita) I worried people wouldn't feel okay bringing it up because it's "too heavy". But like I said, other good points are being made too.
I think that a "bereavement" forum which covers the general category might work, since I think it's going to have enough death things in it that people will not be too likely to think that death is off-topic there.
i think it’s a good idea to accomodate that (although i do think a bereavement forum could probably accomplish that) as long as an effort is made to emphasize that it’s okay to talk about death elsewhere (using your best judgment), that death and grief is not dirty or bad or wrong to talk about
what if you just leave it how it is but maybe add a note to that pinned post saying its not just for death but any kind of loss you want acknowledged or whatever i mean thats how people are already using it anyway right
Honestly that seems best to me.
what if i want people to acknowledge this kind of loss?
Okay, attempting to reflect the sense of things:
There's some preference for some kind of distinction between "death per se" and "other bereavement", but "bereavement" appears to be approximately the right category. I think we'll assume that the loss.jpg edits do not qualify, and if you want those acknowledeged, I think they go in Fan Town. So I'm thinking to write up a better intro post for the forum, sticky that, and add a thread tag. Does that sound like a good fit?
Yeah, it's like
I am having some health Issues and it sucks and I feel pretty helpless
I specifically want sympathy.
I don't know if it counts as "loss" though.
I'd be inclined to think of that more as Group Hug And Support (Brainbent) than as Bereavement (Witness Me)? But I also see how there's some intermediate cases. I don't know.
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