Sep 15, 2009

Grief is NOT an Excuse

Musings of A Beautiful Mess
I've grieved the loss of my mom in many ways. I did things that I'm not proud of. I yelled, I cried, I "wallowed" in my misery. But I never once did something that I shouldn't have and used grief as an excuse.

All of this is coming up because I watch Jay Leno last night. I didn't watch the VMA's but, of course, I heard about Kanye West's dick move when Taylor Swift won her VMA. I figured it was just him being the pompous ass he is. Which sucks, because I really like his music. But after his appearance on Jay's show last night, I want to find my CD and all the music I have of his and burn them!

Yes, his mother died and YES that sucks..A LOT! Believe me, I know! It's tough to lose your mom. Obviously, I'm not a celebrity and I'm not in the public eye and didn't grieve publicly, but if I had, would this mean I could act out and use grief as an excuse? Could I use my mom's death and the fact that I hadn't dealt with it yet as an excuse to hurt someone else or take away their "moment"? I think, no. I totally disagree with using grief as an excuse for bad behavior.

I've seen this happen many times. A friend of mine cheated on his wife after his brother died. He used grief as an excuse. I call BULLSHIT! I'm raising the bullshit flag and running around waving it. My own sister (older) did it.

Yes, grief is hard! It's a process one has to go through. It isn't easy, it doesn't happen over night, but I totally disagree with using it as an excuse for bad behavior. I'm not perfect, FAR from it. Like I said, I've done some things I'm not proud of in the years after my mom's death. But I never shrugged my shoulders and said "I'm grieving".

How do you feel about the grieving process? Do you think he used it as an excuse? Dirty doesn't agree with me. He thinks that Kanye hasn't been able to come to terms with his mother's death and acting out is part of the process. While I can see his point, I still think it was a cop out. He did something that was NOT cool. He acted like he and his opinion mattered more then anyone else's.

No matter what, I still think Kanye is full of himself and he needs to check himself.

25 friends have commented:

Kristina on September 15, 2009 at 10:52 AM said...

I totally agree with you. I did some things in the wake of my brother's death that I am not proud of, so yes, people act differently in the midst of their grief, but it's not a catch-all excuse for every bad behavior. Plus, what kind of tribute is that paying to your loved one who died? I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want their loved ones running around being a total ass and cheating on their spouses because of their death. CHILDREN can act out in the midst of grief, because they are CHILDREN. It's not okay for adults to do that.

Kayne West is a pompous ass with a VERY VERY inflated sense of self-importance. I've never had any respect for him and this incident just solidified my opinion. I'm pretty sure his mother isn't very proud right now that acted that way, and is now saying he did it because of her.

Jenn on September 15, 2009 at 11:24 AM said...

As always my friend....WELL SAID!!

I agree 100% and am with you on this one!

P.S. - sorry for being M.I.A - missed ya sweets!!!

HUGS

Becoming Whole on September 15, 2009 at 12:53 PM said...

It may be true that he is "acting out", but that does not excuse it. We are still responsible for our behavior, whether we're grieving, or drunk, or on drugs, or whatever. If you're an adult, you are responsible for your choices and the decisions that you make.

Oh, and FYI, the radio this a.m. highlighted the "We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things" album as part of the Texas Music Minute. Of course, I thought of you. It was like you were saying hi to me on my way to work. :)

Flying Monkeys on September 15, 2009 at 12:54 PM said...

I think he had an issue with his ego before his mom's passing. So I don't believe grief bears the bulk of the blame. My heart feel a twang of sympathy for him when Jay asked him about what his mom would have said because you could see him try to swallow the tears. HOWEVER, in the midst of admitting he hasn't taken the time to grieve (people rarely do?), he made some comments about how award shows are supposed to be which implied to me that he didn't really get it. He was still trying to qualify the limits of his apology, which really isn't an apology is it? I hope he can regain his focus and be the person he says he wants to be.

Caitlin on September 15, 2009 at 2:05 PM said...

I completely agree. Kanye was cocky before his mother died, though. I was reading on Ya.hoo today all of his loud-mouthed antics since he's become famous. That's just how he is.

Also - I think his "heartfelt apology" on Le.no was a bunch of bullshit, just to make himself look good. He even said he didn't realize what he did was wrong until he heard the crowd booing. Tay.lor Swi.ft said that he hasn't tried to contact her to apologize.

Sorry off track there for a minute! LOL Anyway - I would agree with you. My hubby disagrees though. He went through a spell last year where he blamed all of his actions on grieving for his uncle. It's just not right.

The Unproductive One on September 15, 2009 at 2:59 PM said...

You mean I could have cheated and gotten away with it because my Dad had just died? Or humiliated someone in public and just put it down to "not coping with my Dads death?"

Shit wish someone would have told me!!

Please, Kayne did it because he's a dick pure and simple.

xxxx

p.s. As if I'd yell at you re my latest blog post...btw I think you're onto something with the comment you posted on it xxx

Kristin on September 15, 2009 at 3:20 PM said...

His grief may be the explanation for his behavior but it will never be an EXCUSE for his behavior. The fact that he acts out because of his grief is a symptom of an immature and under-developed person.

honeywine on September 15, 2009 at 4:22 PM said...

I actually defended his crap with Vince Gill right after his mother died, but he seems to have hit this really spiraling idiocy/deathwish section where someone needs to take him down with a dartgun. I mean, I'd rather drive rusty nails in my arm than have to listen to more than 30 seconds of Taylor Swift and her face on my tv usually gives me a momentary desire to throw a pie at it, but he really needs to shut his mouth. It wasn't his place. Somebody teach the ass to twitter if he feels the need to have millions hear everything he has pop into his head.

Aunt Becky on September 15, 2009 at 8:40 PM said...

I cannot decide if he's doing it because he's a douche or because he's so full of himself that he cannot see straight.

What a jackass.

Busted Tube on September 15, 2009 at 9:06 PM said...

Well, I think we're all on the same page with thinking that Kanye is a total douche. And I agree that grief isn't a reasonable excuse for that kind of behavior. However, I know that when I'm dealing with grief or other intense emotions I do sometimes use it as an excuse to do things that I know I shouldn't- but mostly those things are only harmful to me, like not exercising and eating crap. I'm sure I've been less funny or less conversational than usual at times of high stress, but ruining someone's award night or birthday or cheating on a spouse or otherwise being mean and douche-like? There's no excuse for that.

KimboSue on September 16, 2009 at 4:41 AM said...

Complete asshole, no matter the excuse if you ask me. And that "heartfelt" apology on Leno, give me an f'ing break! Total PR move sir!

WiseGuy on September 16, 2009 at 7:09 AM said...

I am not a Kanye West fan...the only song I remember with any pleasure is Heartless...

I did not know of the VMA episode, nor was I aware of his boobowlookatme at Jay Leno's show...but when I saw Twitter afire with Kanye West and Beyonce and Taylor Swift, I quickly reverted back to Dr. Google and came to know the whole saga...

How do you feel about the grieving process? Do you think he used it as an excuse?

Grieving is a very individual expression...the funereal rites finish in a few days, things get relegated to whispers, but some people may walk around with a torch much longer than what others may think fit.

But grief is not a crutch...and if one uses it like that...one would be shooed, or pitied...but never understood or empathied.

I do not endorse what KW did or said...but KW may wind up exactly like this for his whole career or life...he is refusing to move...he denies himself the chance to grow up and mature...

I think a lot of people do use grief as an excuse.... for e.g. when you talked of your friend's adulterous affair, it was really inexcusable...but I think that it is very rampant...

You know there is a novel by Sharatchandra called Devdas, where the hero spends his remaining life drinking after he loses the chance to marry his childhood love. While he is pissing his life away, he is cared for by a prostitute who is really true to him in her care, and who falls in love with him and gets reformed...but he keeps insulting her again and again, and snubs her love telling that he can never love anybody else because his Paro is no more in his life. Devdas is so shut out with his grief that he fails to understand the new buds blooming in front of him.

He ultimately dies - his love gone waste on Paro, and the prostitute's love gone waste on him...

Nel on September 16, 2009 at 7:49 AM said...

I am just shocked that people are JUST NOW seeing that his is this big of a douche.

He is disrespectful and rude. He publicly dissed out president in front of millions of people. No matter what your political views are, I think that is just uncalled for and rude.

But I agree with you 100%. Grief is not an excuse.

Chayce's Momma on September 16, 2009 at 10:29 AM said...

I found it amusing that the death of his mother wasn't used as an excuse until someone else brought it up. I mean it's almost like Jay Leno gave him an out. He's an ass, plain and simple.

You on the other hand are pretty darn awesome!;-)

Phoebe on September 16, 2009 at 11:06 AM said...

I don't know much about the guy, except that I think what he did was lame.

I know from my own experience that grief can make me angry, and that I can act out that anger. I can't say I'm proud of that, but it's true. It feels much easier to take it out on someone else than to actually feel the pain. So maybe I'm as lame as Kayne West.

kate on September 17, 2009 at 8:52 AM said...

I agree that grief is not a blanket excuse to act like a jackass. But I do think perhaps that sometimes our brains become so overwhelmed with grieving that it perhaps delays the circuit breaker between the brain and the mouth, and that might allow things to slip out that otherwise wouldn't.

Of course, as a celebrity, Kanye isn't really allowed to let that happen without some backlash. I mean, I feel for the guy. I really do. I cannot imagine having to grieve in the public eye, or have every move scrutinized. But at the same time, that is the mantle he has taken upon himself, and he doesn't seem to be too unhappy about that part of it. So, that means that he has to exercise extra control over those impulses, and if he knows he is grieving and is unable to control himself, he should excuse himself from the public eye for a while.

All the same, in the past couple of months, I have become increasingly cynical regarding celebrities and fame. I'm really beginning to wonder why I should care at all. So Kanye made an attention-grabbing move during an officiated attention-grabbing scene set up by the media to promote (or "honor") Taylor Swift. What does this have to do with my life, right? I mean, it's fun to be entertained by celebrities, but lately I've just felt like unless they are publicly promoting some truly horrid beliefs, why should I care about their behavior? Does it make his albums worse for him to act like a dolt? Not really. All the same, I can understand feeling offended by his behavior and deciding to avoid reminders of that offense by throwing out his records. But I guess I've just felt lately like I need to separate the artist from their behavior, to quit letting "celebrity" be an excuse to track someone's every move.

I don't know. Clearly I'm off on a tangent here, but basically, barring any super-offensive beliefs, I try to assume that the artist is a human, and to thus separate the artist from the art/entertainment, though I can totally understand wanting to take each into account.

Like with Patrick Swayze. Yes, I am horribly sad that he died. I cared about him as a human suffering from a disease. And YES, Dirty Dancing rocked my pre-teen world, and as such, he has a place in my heart. But to be honest, he really wasn't that great of an actor. His career wasn't all that stellar. He had only a couple of roles worth remarking about, and generally, was just not that exciting of an artist. But I still care about his death, because pancreatic cancer is scary and hard to deal with and an unfair disease that took his life too early- so a reverse of the previous case, and caring more about the artist than the art.

I don't know. Clearly, you've made me think a lot about this Screw Kanye for thinking he could use grief as a get-out-of-jail-free card. But I still like his music.

Poltzie on September 17, 2009 at 12:46 PM said...

I totally agree with you. At the end of the day we choose how we want to treat other people. No one makes us do that!

But, I think Kayne is famous. I suspect that he is used to people telling him whatever he wants to hear. Which means that eventually he will believe that everything he doe sis ok because no one close to him will tell him the truth. Couple that with grief and it's a wonder he hasn't done more.

Sorry about your mom btw, I can't even imagine! One of my regular readers and also someone I know from highschool is grieving her mom. It's been a year now, she's still hurting :(

MissMeliss on September 17, 2009 at 7:21 PM said...

i agree. and i don't understand why he even went there, except jay asked him what his mother would think of his behavior. still. blaming it on grief? hm. very bad excuse, in my opinion.

melissa

CappyPrincess on September 18, 2009 at 5:57 AM said...

Grief is a weird thing... each handles it in unique ways. But when the way you handle your grief causes you to do things that are, shall we say, "less than cool", it's time to grow up and get some help.

The solution isn't going to be the same for everyone nor will the outbursts, but it's like a lot of other things in life. Sometimes you just have to hitch up your jeans and act like it's ok on the outside even if you're crying on the inside. (I still work on that one myself)

Sunny on September 18, 2009 at 7:52 PM said...

Ugh, I can't even stand Kanye West. Don't get me started.

But to answer your question, I don't think it's fair to use grief as an excuse for hurting others. If you are going to play that card, fine, but it doesn't make it okay. We are adults, and I can only imagine the hurt of losing a parent/sibling/spouse/child -- but mourning does not give you carte blanche to take a crap on everyone else's life. If you are having trouble grieving, see a counselor who can direct your pain and healing into something more productive instead of destructive.

Grieving can be an excuse for many things (e.g. not attending certain events because it's too painful) but not for the type of behavior that Kanye displayed.

awomanmyage on September 18, 2009 at 8:11 PM said...

Well, Kanye was always full of himself and just busting to share his unsolicited opinions. I don't think his mum's death had anything to do with it. But I've met a few pompous blowhard celebrities, and underneath all that bluster is more insecurity than you can shake a stick at. They just make cartloads of money so people tolerate and indulge it. I feel sorry for him, really.

Amaprincess on September 21, 2009 at 4:38 AM said...

First of all hugs to you for being strong!!! Second, I can't stand him!!! I totally felt that was a cop-out and completely inappropriate..I listened to the tape of him screaming backstage ..its always about race with him! It really truly makes me sick...Here's a tissue for his issues..he is still a jackass!

Belle on September 22, 2009 at 8:01 AM said...

OF COURSE it's not okay to be The World's Biggest Asshole and them blame your grief!!! Not even a question. I feel silly even talking about the whole situation because it's so blatantly obvious, but what Kanye did was not acceptable in ANY situation. And he, as a celebrity, should know that even more than us lowly normal people. Grrr... gets my blood boiling.

Deb on October 1, 2009 at 6:05 PM said...

I lost my mother and sibling during the course of six months. It took me about two years to feel like living... NEVER have I gone out of my way to do something ridiculously mean or dumb because of my painful losses. Have I defended myself from crap? Yes. Have I initiated crap? No.

Kanye is one sorry person. I know people in worse circumstances than my own who don't pull this horsesh*t. He's pretty much ruined his reputation, I guess. Oh, well.

Raelene on November 6, 2009 at 2:24 PM said...

I absolutely, completely 100% agree with you. That pissed me off too, BAD excuse.

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