Too Good For This World

December 4th, 2013 | Categories: Uncategorized

Today’s guest blog is reposted from Natasha Shapiro’s blog Art Therapy and Related Topics. Natasha is an art therapist and occasionally provides The Communicated Stereotype with insights into related topics. Today’s post deals with stereotypes related to those who die young. Natasha’s stream of consciousness style provides the opportunity to reflect on all the interconnections of the stereotypes about those who die young and how their death is contrasted to those who are still alive. Spoiler Alert: It’s not very flattering for the living.

Maybe this is offensive, but I don’t like it when people say “She was too good for this world.” After a young or not old person dies.
This is an odd stereotype. It sets up a dichotomy between “Angel People” who are seen as more pure and idealized for traits like kindness and sensitivity and even “living life to the fullest.” The song “Only the Good Die Young” is ironically about loss if virginity, not loss of life but he does imply that society views that by dying young, even a virgin, a person remains pure in some way. I’m not sure at what age you have to give up on this idea…

In some cases the person’s life is frozen. S/he doesn’t get more time on earth to make more mistakes, be mediocre, not special, flawed, etc. If you die young there are recognitions of the amazing things you would have done. Luckily all these people are very dead and can avoid feeling pressured to live up to an unrealistic ideal of a human.

Because it is so awful when a young person dies at the beginning of their journey on life’s road, people comfort themselves with the idea that the person was not only too good for this world but “not of this world”. It can become almost an explanation as to why the person died, which does not really make any sense.

This idealization also separates the rest of us average humans from the really superhuman almost Buddha like humans. What does it mean to be alive and just trucking along and then when dead described in this manner? What if this person had continued living? Would s/he suddenly join the rest of us humans?

In addition when a person struggled with mental illness and related issues, they are struggling mightily just to exist in this world. That doesn’t mean they are too good for this world but that their painful inner world and difficulties with the outside world can collapse on the person.

I know of many long lived people who are pretty “good ” and have made good use of their time on earth to make the world a better place. Unfortunately if your life gets cut off too early you don’t get more chances to use your goodness.

So perhaps a loss of a good and caring person is indeed a loss for the world, but most of all that person’s loss of being cheated out of many of life’s joys. This is not the same as being “different”, not of this world, ethereal, etc.

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