Father writes Twitter thread about the loss of his son and why it’s important to keep talking about your grief
Comedian and father Michael Cruz Kayne lost his infant son ten years ago, and this week, he decided to talk about it. Fed up with experiencing people “tiptoe” around his grief and feeling isolated by it, He realized that when it comes to the loss of his son, he’s tired of having to shroud that story in secrecy and sadness. Kayne writes in a 15-part Twitter thread, how there’s more than just the tragedy of his son’s death, how there’s “a galaxy of emotions” involved and how only sharing the sad parts completely erases his son’s complex legacy.
“This isn’t really what twitter is for,” Kayne said at the beginning of his thread, “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.”
Kayne wrote that the “conversations we have about grieving are very very weird” because “tragedy is still so taboo, even in the era of the overshare.” When someone has experienced tragedy, they are often met with “tilted heads and cards with calligraphy on them and whispering.” He also said that one of the most isolating parts of holding onto grief is that “we only get to talk about one part publicly: the sadness.”
He stated how the stories we tell about trauma don’t leave space to talk about anything outside the trauma. Like, for example, how Michael’s wife became a pediatric intensive care nurse because of her son. “Can you believe it?” Michael wrote. “Being around sick and dying children all day? healing/caring for them? she does that because of my son.” We don’t get to hear these joyful stories when the only stories we feel safe to tell about death are the sad ones.
“I bet you have a friend with a sad story [who] also wants to share the not sad parts,” Michael wrote.
“Almost no one considers the fullness of his loss and how complicated and weird and everything else it was and continues to be,” Michael wrote. “Having just recently started talking to other grievers, I know many of them feel the same.”
“Grief is isolating, but not just because of the sadness. also because the sadness is the only part about it that anyone knows,” he added. “Ask your friend about the sad thing that you never talk about, and be open to the depth of that experience.”
“I was surprised to reach so many people, but not surprised that so many people had stories they felt like they had kept locked up inside themselves,” he tells Scary Mommy. “I don’t know how much social media can be a healing place for people, but since most of it is a volcano of garbage, it felt nice to contribute something that seemed to help a few people feel a little better.”
Michael concluded his post with this sign-off: “Ask your sad friend about the sad thing that you never talked about,” and also, “If you are grieving, you are not alone.”
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