Death

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It is fair to state somewhat euphemistically that death is an inconvenience for everyone. In respect of my kind and me, it causes all manner of problems and issues which are especially irksome. Death generally only affects people in two respects. Their own death and the death of other people. Our responses to those two aspects are far-removed from that of the reactions of ordinary people and especially those of an empathic nature.

First of all, how do we regard the death of someone else. The demise of a stranger causes to response from us unless we realise that in order to maintain the façade that it would be advantageous to say “the right things” and come out with those empty platitudes that people do so often when they read of a tragedy somewhere. When this happens and somebody makes mention of some loss of life, perhaps the drowning of a toddler who was not being properly supervised and fell into a bath or the consequence of an aeroplane crashing, I observe the reactions of the collective with interest. There are the expressions of shock, the declarations of horror and how this is such a terrible event. As I watch and listen I do wonder who the greater charlatans are in this event. Is it me who does not care and cannot care but pretends to do so in order to maintain my precious façade or is it those who claim to care about somebody they never knew and would never have known?

If the death of someone is closer to home, a friend or a family member then my reaction is no different save that it is laced with irritation and indeed often anger at the loss of someone who was a source of fuel for me. If that person forms a supplementary source, then there is irritation at this loss but this person can readily be replaced with a new member rising to form part of my coterie. If the person who has been lost to the hand of the grim reaper is a primary source of fuel, then I am consumed with fury. How could this person treat me in this fashion? I gave them everything and then they leave me in the most complete fashion, with no chance of that sweet, sweet restoration. This departure amounts to a criticism of me, a reminder that even someone as great and powerful as I was unable to prevent the removal of a potent source of fuel. Thus this criticism ignites my fury and I rage at the injustice of their death. Some who witness this might mistake this response for an outburst of grief at the taking of this person. It is not that. It is the explosion of wrath at someone who was so potent to me escaping me and thus denying me my rightful fuel and denying me the opportunity to put in place a replacement. I do not mourn their passing away. I rage at the passing of my fuel source.

Do not expect to see me attend the funerals of those that are regarded as supposedly close to me and where my attendance might otherwise be expected. I will not be there. I know there are those of our kind who revel in the drama and the high emotion that is attached to a funeral and regard it as a honey pot for the acquisition of fuel. There are those of our kind who will hijack the occasion and make it all about them, wailing and shedding those false tears in order to draw well-meant sympathy from the other attendees. There are those of our kind who will create a scene at the funeral, arriving late, arriving drunk, collapsing part way through the service, making a snide remark in a loud stage whisper in order to draw reactions from everyone else that is there. Yes, many of our kind will attend and exhibit their over-acted grief purely to draw attention to themselves and away from the person who is now lying in the cold, hard ground. Our kind will express their huge sense of loss, how the deceased was such a wonderful father, caring mother, beloved uncle or best friend. Such a shameless performance which is carefully choreographed in funereal black to maximise the opportunity to have the spotlight shine on them and thus drink up all the attendant fuel. A disagreement will be provoked with another family member and harsh words exchanged. Over the top blubbing will take place with cries of “Don’t leave me!” as the coffin is lowered. The occasion of death and the attended ceremony provides a wonderful stage to our kind to perform our sick routines to make it all about us, fashioned from the pretence of actually caring. We do not care. We cannot care. We resent the fact that this person has escaped us. We resent the fact that everybody is turning out to pay their respects to the deceased and not training their attention onto us which is where it should belong. Should you ever witness melodrama at a funeral do not mistake it for the exaggerating effects of grief and loss, you are observing one of our kind milking the moment for all it is worth.

That is the response of many of our kind to the loss of a “loved one” or a “close friend” who has passed away after a full life or taken too soon. It is not my response. I have only ever attended one funeral in my life and that was the funeral of my father. I only broke my own protocol to do this as a consequence of the diktat from my mother and also at the behest of my younger brother who begged me to accede to her request so that she would not erupt and undermine the occasion of our father’s death. I duly obliged, just the one, purely in order to satisfy my desires however. I wanted to rein in my mother’s theatrics and watch how she really responded to the death and subsequent committing to another place of my father. You may well have read elsewhere in my works of that particular day. That was the only time that I have attended a funeral and I did it to further my own understanding and in order to loathe in my own private way the way my mother was behaving. That gave me tremendous satisfaction.

Thus, I only broke my protocol of non-attendance once and shall not do so again. Why is it that I will not attend funerals when there is such a prime opportunity to take centre stage and draw greedily on all the available fuel? It is a simple reason enough. I will not attend funerals because I do not wish to be reminded of my own mortality. Like a medieval monarch who stayed away from funerals, even of the preceding monarch and his own wives and offspring, because it would cause others to contemplate the death of the current monarch, something which was treasonable, I too will not attend. I have no desire to contemplate my demise. I do not want to recognise that one day all of this must end for this offends my notion of omnipotence. I do not wish to linger at the edge of the abyss that is life, staring into the nothingness of oblivion. Such is the finality of the mortal end to one’s existence, it engenders and raises the very prospect of that extinction that I fight against each and every day through the acquisition of fuel to maintain my construct and keep myself from being consigned into oblivion. To contemplate a mortal death is to invite the horrifying reality of the extinguishing of who I wish to be and that which I must not let happen.

I do not fear my mortal death for I will have my legacy in place and thus I shall live on through that. No, what I would rather not be reminded of, through the occurrence of the passing of others and the subsequent surrounding ceremony, is that I sometimes teeter on the brink on annihilation. The thought of that fills me with despair, only for myself and therefore I choose not to engage in that which will so forcefully and rudely remind me of it.

I know death embraces all eventually. I am not a foolish man and that is why I have worked to secure my legacy so that I may out stride death.

I care not, save for the loss of my fuel, when its cold hand snuffs out the life of others. Our type does not mourn the death of others. We are unable to do so. We are not equipped to achieve this. Never expect any sincere mourning to ever be evidenced by our kind.

I care not to contemplate what mortal death signifies for me in my ongoing struggle to keep such annihilation at bay.

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32 thoughts on “Death”

  1. My sentiments exactly. I can’t attend funerals because my reaction is never what it’s supposed to be and people become upset with me.

    I don’t fear death but I challenge it often. So far I’ve been able to avoid the icy cold hand.

    I didn’t like that it made me think of you dying HG. It made me feel sick.

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  2. HG

    This was a killer to read. I have always wondered if narcs fear there own death and what will happen. I do not fear my own and would gladly give it up tomorrow.,BPD dream of not being here anymore. The suicide rate is the highest of all the disorders. The panic and anxiety attacks that come on from no place and last hours can push me to the brink of wanting to check out. I don’t because I need to finished my own self healing. Interesting I find such comfort in death and you find it taxing.

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    1. I understand and know this soaking it all in, my friend is BPD and has attempted to take his life many a time. I pray he never succeeds he is a true blessing to this world. I think, but do not act upon death.

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    1. Seems that I know you so well Alexis! Some Ns will get worse with age as the dimming of the senses and the diminished looks causes them to rail against such an injustice. Reminders that puncture our concept of omnipotence will be most unwelcome, unless of course you are a Victim Narcissist in which case you use it to your advantage. We are envious of others repeatedly and this would not alter with the onset of age and infirmity. Still, the cod liver oil tablets and you delightful posters here will keep a spring in my step for a long time yet.

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  3. A very interesting post HG. I’ve had “people” in my life with invites to their funerals. I have attended detached as always dressed in an ever over-flowing femine black lace dress that matched my massive long, thick, shiny black straight hair. With red lips, I was determined to perform the best of their requested eulogies. To honor the audience’s conceived notion, perception, their emphatic tears of ambiguity as I stayed under the “spotlight” bringing forth my most beautiful and rendering experience with in deep wholehearted words of my choice. With the spot light at “still” on me, to say goodbye in style, I have done my job for I must go- I shall miss you.

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  4. Death??? Today’s my birthday (I’m 39) so it’s natural to think about my own mortality, I guess…I know I won’t live forever (and I don’t want to).

    As for the deaths of others…I do find myself nor knowing how to react. At age 9, I lost my grandmother…it was confusing because she wasn’t there to take care of me anymore (which made me sad) BUT she wasn’t suffering from cancer anymore either (which was supposed to be a good thing). When I was 20 & my grandfather passed, everyone was saying at his funeral what a good man he’d been, & I didn’t know what to say to that because that “good man” had raped me the summer I was ten & I was glad he was dead.

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    1. Happy belated birthday, Cara.
      Loss and death has had obvious mixed emotions for you and rightly so.
      My maternal grandmother ( along story there…my mother was the result of her father mistress and then raised by his wife as her own child, needless to say their relationship was strained even Moreso when my mums father died of brain aneurysm when mum was thirteen.when I was I was a baby my grandmother lived with us till she died, I recall as child many arguments between the two of them, she loved my dad though, everyone did and does. My grandmother, cared for my twin sister till her death, whereas my mum and I use the term loosely, cared for me. My mother was not even slightly maternal, she told me as a child, she never wanted children, and believe me I felt that throughout my life. Hence the resentment towards my father, who doted upon till her death in 2012. My grandmother died when I was eight. My N mother made me attend the open casket funeral, the image of her in the casket haunted my dreams from childhood onward. I won’t allow my daughter to attend funerals at such a young age.
      I do fear death, I fear it for my loved ones mostly. For myself, I wish it to come swiftly and quietly in my sleep. But that is not what I forsee.

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  5. Interesting H G. I know of one elderly narcissist who lost her husband some years ago.
    Her melodramatic, over the top grief stricken widow’s performance at the funeral was so outlandish it was ridiculous.
    Leading up to her husband’s death the narcissist played the part of the compassionate nurse rarely leaving his side, and tending to his every need. She had been administering the medication and was also going to inherit his entire fortune upon his death.
    Her husband’s family intervened and pulled some strings behind the scenes. They contrived and managed to get him placed in palliative care where he was no longer under her ministrations. She really unravelled at that. Would this be due to loss of control, power or fuel? What would be her inner thoughts?
    The family told her they didn’t trust her and ensured that a mutual will was drawn up and signed so that the assets would eventually pass to his family. OMG did she really flip over this and went into a full fledged smear campaign. She was out of control and the façade was gone. Would this be due to the exposure, loss of money or control? Again what would be her inner thoughts?
    His family took care of most of the funeral arrangements despite all her protestations and habit of continually changing the funeral plans. He was interred in the same grave site as his first wife, thereby fulfilling a promise he had made to his first wife many years ago. The narcissist declined to attend the burial service stating that she thought it should be just his family who attended. Would this be due to jealousy or moving on? H G I’d really appreciate your insight into this point.

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    1. Hello Laura, the makings of a decent mini-series there I would suggest!
      1. The placing of the husband in palliative care would have had several effects to the narcissist. Firstly, this would be regarded as a massive criticism. She was his wife and she was nursing him. The removal to a different set of carers criticised her ability to care. This will have wounded her causing the ignition of her fury. How did she respond to that? Did she cut people off? Did she lash out at them verbally? Did she withdraw from people? Secondly, her sense of entitlement (he is MY husband and I care for him) and her sense of superiority (I am the only one who knows how to look after him) have been challenged. Thirdly, the wresting of control would offend her. Fourthly, he will have been her primary source of fuel and with him reliant on her for care, he could not escape her in any way and therefore removing him would cause an immediate cessation to her primary source of fuel which would panic her.
      2. The altering of the will. Again this will have caused a substantial criticism because she would see it as being suggested that she was not worth the inheritance after everything she had done for him, caring for him and so on. Her fury will have been ignited and this caused her to lash out with the smear campaign. The suggestion of the lack of trust would have amounted to a criticism as well. How dare these inferior people question her probity? It offended her entitlement (that inheritance is mind, I am his widow and I earned that inheritance caring for him).
      3. Both these factors also damaged the façade. She was not the trustworthy and caring wife but rather the scheming and wicked parasite. The façade for family and friends had been fractured and any smear campaign would fail to persuade its reinstatement but was designed to garner fuel from sympathisers with a view to creating a new façade.
      4. She did not attend the burial in order to turn attention on to her because she was offended that HER husband was being buried with the inferior first wife. She would not have moved on at this stage.
      She would have been driven into a chaotic state as a consequence of this assault on several fronts. Her loss of primary source of fuel, the substantial criticisms, the fracturing of the façade, the loss of control, the attacks on entitlement and status. She will have sought out a new primary source (probably not an intimate partner but an inner circle friend or loyal family member – did she have any children outside of the husband’s family I wonder?) and drained her supplementary sources as she fought to heal the huge wounds caused by this. She will have lashed out at the family at first but probably found that was only going to continue the criticism of her and thus she will have either withdrawn or frantically sought fuel from other sources.

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      1. Thanks HG. I agree it has the makings of a mini series. I would love to hear any further insights you have to offer on this narcissist.
        1.When he was placed in palliative care, the most obvious reaction was that the narcissist tried to do everything to prevent his family and remaining few friends from visiting him. She lied to the doctors and said that her husband had specifically didn’t want to see certain family members. Mind you the doctors and nurses were all forewarned that she had mental health issues. She lied to the staff that she had medical power of attorney however the documentation the family produced proved otherwise. She wouldn’t let his friends visit claiming he was too ill. She would put a “Do not Disturb” sign on the door, which the family duly ignored. She created histrionic scenes in front of the staff sobbing that she was his wife, she didn’t get enough time with him and she needed to spend more time with him than anyone else. She lied to her husband and said the family didn’t want to see him or were too busy to see him. If her husband called her at home and she found out people were visiting him she would order him to tell the visitors to leave. If she came into the room and found his grandchildren visiting him she would order them out of the room. Was she just isolating him or was it more than this?
        She also lashed out verbally at most of his extended family.

        2. With the will she gets effective use of his assets and the superannuation fund, but it then passes on to his family upon her death. She had for years been lying and promising that she would distribute his estate exactly as he wished. The family arranged for the lawyer to visit and draw up the mutual will. Kind of funny, given that the narcissist was only signing to agree to undertake in the will that she would distribute his will as promised. Mind you she was an undischarged bankrupt when she married him.

        3. With the cracking of her façade and smear campaign, none of the extended family believed her and could not be persuaded otherwise. Behind the scenes constant texts and phone calls were used to update everyone on her antics. All his family were in the loop.

        4. Her husband’s family had nothing to do with her after the funeral. Her main fuel source then became her favourite grandchild from her previous failed marriage. Both her children had gone no contact with her years and years ago however his family tracked them down and got the lowdown and the dirt on her hidden past. She also had a trusted friend as a new fuel source. She played the grieving widow to a T bursting into tears regularly, I figure this might have been a ploy to find another sucker?

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      2. Hello Laura, you are welcome. Adopting your numbering for the sake of ease.

        1. It as isolation but it was also the frenzied response of someone who felt that her control was being challenged and therefore she needed to assert that control through isolation of him. She was also drawing fuel from these third parties and the family members through her provocative actions.
        2. Is there not a risk that she will diminish or even extinguish the assets by having such power over them or is it that she has use of them (eg she can live in the house, drive the car etc) but not dispose of such assets? If she has any opportunity to use up the assets she will do so.
        3. This would have infuriated her finding that the façade was damaged in this way. The organised response to her machinations would have seriously undermined her.
        4. The shift in primary source is as anticipated. Yes, the performance of grieving widow would be to pull on the empathic heartstrings of someone else and in all likelihood there would be someone who would have responded because not everyone is wise to our antics.

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    2. H G your reply certainly helped to comprehend the bizarre behaviour exhibited around her husband’s death. I sent a lengthy more detailed response to this. Did this end up in your junk folder per chance?

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      1. Very early on in their marriage the narcissist isolated her husband from his extended family and close friends. The husband never really knew why his relationships with these people had broken down. Some months prior to entering palliative care her husband was diagnosed with his illness. Her husband then wanted to get his affairs in order and contacted the friends and extended family that she had sidelined for years. The Narcissist allowed them back into hiker husband’s life and acted as if the years of keeping them at bay had never happened. She played the gracious hostess and closely supervised all visits by never leaving his side. Why did she suddenly agree to allow these people back into his life at the death knell and what was her thought process?
        I also forgot to mention that when her husband was in palliative care she sent a visiting regime letter to members of his family. She dictated that they could only visit between 2 and 4 in the afternoon. The number of visitors permitted at one time was to be no more than 2. Everyone was expected to contact and notify her of their intended visits. She also stipulated no gifts of food or drink were to be brought in. This letter was written under the guise of care and her husband signed it while heavily medicated. I suspect this decree was to regain control and have him all to herself. I figure it also enabled her to preempt and prevent any visitors at all. Insights please HG.
        Of course family and friends were incredulous about the letters. The letters only served to create the opposite effect and visitors ignored her rules and regulations and went to see him all hours of the day and night with gifts of his favourite snacks. What’s more they didn’t even notify her. If narcissists are so good at reading people, did she really think this letter through? In her fury did she truly think everyone would just comply with her wishes?

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      2. Hello Laura,
        The isolation you describe is a text book move. Her decision to allow the family etc to return into his life is what I call the Deathwatch Beetle and I am posting an article about this later today, so I daresay you will find that of interest and it will answer your question too.
        The visiting regime was intended to serve several purposes. Firstly, to allow her to exert control. Secondly, to enable her to appear gracious and kind for the purposes of the façade. Thirdly, to allow her to draw fuel as she remained ever present and therefore could triangulate her dying husband with the visitors – “I do all I can to make him more comfortable” and thus she receives their thanks.
        She set up a win/win situation however with the letter. If people comply with it, she gets 1,2 and 3 as I have described. If they do not do so, she gets:-
        1. The opportunity to try and assert control by decrying their violations;
        2. She can reinforce the façade with others by denigrating the people for having no consideration for her husband, tiring him out by visiting at all times and catching him (really her) unawares; and
        3. She can gain sympathy from those who may agree with her (fuel) and she can attack those who have defied her in order to provoke a reaction (fuel).
        Whichever outcomes resulted she would stand to gain.

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  6. Is this why my narc became angry when I became deathly and almost died last year? Not a card, call or whiff of concern; in fact, It almost appeared to accelerate the devaluation.

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  7. I thought Tubby was irritated because he had another source (and I was in the way). Maybe that is more a borderline thing. Hmmm, jealous makes sense; I was, after all, taking fuel. Perhaps that is why he told everyone I was lying….

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  8. My replacement committed suicide because of his relentless and cruel ways. His reaction was to smile, briefly, before diving back into that bowl of potato chips…

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  9. Sounds very familiar. My narc’s mother died around the same time my grandma died. He showed a very cold reaction to her death. I even had to tell him to be a little more supportive to his sister who was into pieces because she lost her mom.
    Exactly a year to the date of her death he decided to celebrate his eldest daughters b-day (5 days early). His eldest daughter had lived with her deceased grandmother ’cause her dad (the narc) was unable to take care of his own daughter.
    So very inconsiderate to party on his mom’s death anniversary

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  10. Dear Joe Black,
    If Mom is a Narcissist albeit a different class than you, why do you think you didn’t turn out opposite of her? My Mom is Narcissist and I did everything I could to not be like her.

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  11. Wow now I’m shocked I thought he really did but now I understand his lately attitude and his brother’s that’s why they wee so rude and full of fury and wrath last time I spoke to them . I wasn’t at his fathers funeral so I can’t judge his behavior but I do say that he sounded hurt in us Facebook port about it I told him my condolences abd he replied with a positive comment . I’m hurt I want Ther becayse the other woman was and I wasn’t there to comfort him with u my nature and knew I would always do- wife mentality still think I’m married- and I’m hurt she was the one who confirmed him and how they praise her

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  12. How they praise her in their surroundings his church family and hate me and repude me humiliates me even more and hurts me to the point where I explode can’t take this more like black eyed peas say I can’t go any further than this . She graduated in te school if humiliation and embarrassment not ti mention the love of my life the only man I truly loved and fell in love with true love what true love for him to come with excuses that he doesn’t believe one must be rug ether if I’ve doesn’t go through serious experiences well look in your memory see if you find a this and between us I can’t believe you switched me for an ugly wrenched whore who’s only interested in your height and whets in between your legs

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