Tuesday, March 25, 2014

It's a matter of perspective...

A: I'll be devastated if they don't play

B: I'm sure Mick's more devastated

A: It's all a matter of perspective.


The Rolling Stones were due to play my city on Saturday night just gone and this was one exchange that appeared on my Facebook feed in the first 24 hours of Mick Jagger joining our ranks.

My jaw was on the ground and I thought "I'm pretty certain Mick's grief is greater than your disappointment that the band's not playing". 

There seemed to be a whole heap of discussions over the inconvenience the cancellation would cause because of travel and hotel bookings for people to attend the concert, and concern over what would happen to the massive amount of public money that had been spent on this concert as it was meant to be the grand opening event for our upgraded sports ground before competition begins this weekend. 

But I saw very little sympathy or empathy towards Mick and the band.

One thing I've gained from my widow experience is greater empathy, and perspective between what's a crisis, disaster or catastrophe versus what is an annoyance, an inconvenience or a disappointment. 

For concert-goers and organisers, it's very much the latter. 

For Mick, it's the former, and quite frankly, my heart went out to him, not just for his loss, but the circumstances he was in when he learned of L'Wren's passing.  They're nothing like my own experiences, but I can now comprehend the impact of the news.

He's away from home on what is, for all intents and purposes, a business trip.  Thankfully he has old friends with him for support, but he is away on business.

He's the focus of the media and social media commentary which was probably difficult to escape, and of course there's all the attempts to get photos of him in his grief.

Private plane or not, he had a very, very long flight to get from Perth, Australia to New York.  The one up-side... the flight would effectively be a media block-out.

He's probably feeling no end of guilt over being away from home, and yes, for disappointing fans.  The poor guy was probably torn in all directions, and I wouldn't be surprised if the call to cancel the shows at this time was made by either band mates or management. 

We all have experiences of comments that scream the speaker has no comprehension of the impact the loss of a partner/spouse has on a person.  What got me was the impression in social media that Mick would not be suffering because of what he does.

That he is somehow inhuman. 

And the complete inability of people to even consider the situation from Mick's perspective.


  1. The complete lack of empathy for the bereaved reminds me of certain bickering families I've known. It constantly amazes me what people are capable of.

  2. I hate to say this, but I believe that people think that if you have money you will be just fine. I really think I would have had more sympathy when my husband was killed if we didn't have a life insurance policy. It wasn't enough that I could retire on, it was just enough for a bit of wiggle room, but I picked up on some comments when I was stupid enough(or in shock) to answer questions. It's disgusting but I really believe it to be true. The fact is I would have given up everything I had to have him back, and I would have gladly traded places with him. Money is meaningless when your heart is in a million pieces, but I guess you have to be in that situation to know that...

  3. I agree with you JSP. I lost my wife tragically in a terrorist attack; we are a young couple and I have a child to raise. I have heard comments of insurance money, unsolicited advise on how to spend it etc. These people have no clue I would give the shirt off my back to have her here again.

  4. I hadn't thought on the how much money he has angle, but you're right. I'm grateful for the inheritance, simply because it's taken a layer of stress off, a layer I'm aware many still have. Doesn't mean I'd much rather have him here and be discussing budgets and how we were going to distribute our limited income.

  5. I think it depends on the person, when my mom died, she was my best friend and I was shattered I asked someone to change my schedule so I'd be or the phone les because of the crying but I did not miss a single minute of work. They had a grief policy, I could have, but there was no point. To me sitting home alone crying was a100 times worse than working. Likewise a woman at work who lost her husband last week did the same thing except she took one day for a service. Some of us copied better with something to throw ourselves into and not looking at the empty