I Told People About Aretha Franklin's Death And I Smiled

posted by Ben - 

What's wrong with me? 

So we all learned the unfortunate news about Aretha Franklin's passing just a little while ago and as I went around asking if people had heard about her death I could feel my face turning into a grin. Now I know what you're thinking, "what's wrong with this psychopath?". It's not that I'm happy about her death at all. It's incredibly sad and horrible that we lost such an amazing icon, but ever since I can remember my initial response to death has been to smile. Am I a psychopath? Is there something wrong with me?

I remember when I first started dating my girlfriend, Karsen, I was the one to deliver the news that her grandfather had passed away. Her mother had tried to get a hold of her but she was working. I went into her work and pulled her aside and gave her the news and as I was doing so I could feel my mouth turning into a smile, and I had to pull her into a hug so she wouldn't notice and break up with me on the spot. 

My question is, is this normal? I googled some other interested and to see what psychologists may have said or any other accounts of a similar situation and this is the best answer I could find that makes the most sense to me. Freud argued that laughter was a coping mechanism, a way of dealing with the unspeakable pain of everyday life which makes perfect sense. Humor is a big part of my day-to-day life and a comfort for me in a way. Another study I found was that sometimes people with social anxiety have a hard time conveying regular emotions. While I wouldn't say I have social anxiety, I do have a form of anxiety that causes me to react differently in certain situations. 

Maybe there's an answer out there from someone else. Have you reacted in a similar way when dealing with or talking about death? I can't be the only one. Or can I?

And just to be clear, in no way shape or form am I happy about anyone's death. 

Photo by Getty

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