A Remarkable Article in The Washington Post on the Life Long Grief Process as Told on Twitter by a New York Comedian Michael Cruz Kayne

On Twitter a New York comedian opened up about the loss of his infant son. It opened up a discussion on grief that was written about in The Washington Post. This is a post that I have been meaning to do for a couple of months. But a visit to the hospital to see my neighbor led to a comment about how one never recovers from loss. That led me to finish this post. 

“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”

Mark Twain 

After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it.

1 Timothy 6:7 NLT

Cemetery in New Orleans 

Michael Cruz Kayne

When I was in Fresno for a couple of days after Christmas one of my neighbors went into the hospital on Christmas Eve. This neighbor was a dear and close friend of my parents. While my sisters and I had lunch at an established restaurant in Fresno called Sals, we got an update on our neighbor. We decided to visit her in the hospital. It was hard walking in. The last time I walked into this hospital was nearly a year prior and it was at about 3:30 in the morning as my Dad was dying. The room my neighbor stayed in was down the hallway from where my Dad died if my memory serves me correct. It was hard to be in the hospital. Actually because of all the time I spent in and out of hospitals with my parents illnesses and death I still get knots in my stomach as I drive by a hospital. 

As I stood in the room I saw my 95 year old neighbor lying in bed. We spoke for a few minutes and she asked me how was Christmas? I told her it was difficult without Mom and Dad there for the holiday. Then she looked at me and said, “David you’ll never get over the loss of your parents.” The person telling me this had some incredible and tragic loss in her life. When I was in high school I used to water her plants for an allowance. Shortly after I left for college her husband had a massive heart attack and died. She had three kids and two of them developed cancer and they both died. She had to bury them. Her advice I considered exceptionally wise given her background with suffering, loss and death. But what she said also plays into another story that I want to feature. 

Its my contention that people never get over their loss. They may learn to live with it but they never recover. Life is never the same again. Last November there was quite a Twitter discussion that the Washington Post wrote about. It had to deal with a New York comedian by the name of Michael Cruz Kayne. On Twitter he wrote about his infant’s son’s death on the tenth anniversary of the loss. For me and for Michael and the other people who responded, this is a reminder that the pain of death never goes away. It sticks and stays with you forever. Our society needs to have more discussions about death to be honest. Hopefully Twitter discussions like this can do that. You can read the article in, “A comedian wrote about his baby’s death on Twitter. Then hundreds poured out their own grief.” If you have problems I have the article below for you to read.


New York comedian Michael Cruz Kayne decided to write about his infant’s death, on the 10th anniversary of losing his son, who was just 34 days old.

“This isn’t really what twitter is for,” began Kayne, “but ten years ago today my son died and I basically never talk about it with anyone other than my wife. it’s taken me ten years to realize that I want to talk about it all the time.”

He wrote on Monday that since his son, Fisher Daniel Kayne, died — and Fisher’s twin survived — he’s found grief is a taboo topic “even in the era of the overshare.”

“It’s all very *sorry for your loss* and tilted heads and cards with calligraphy on them and whispering. we’re all on tiptoes all the time,” he wrote.

But grief is a “galaxy of emotions,” including anger and even some things that have made him laugh: “the funeral home handed us a receipt after our son’s funeral that said ‘thank you come again’ at the bottom.”

He added: “I bet you have a friend with a sad story also wants to share the not sad parts.”

One of his “not sad” parts is that his wife became a pediatric intensive care nurse after Fisher died of sepsis. “Can you believe it?” he wrote. “being around sick and dying children all day? healing/caring for them? she does that because of my son.”

Kayne offered “a plea: *ask your sad friend about the sad thing that you never talked about.*” He added: “grief is isolating, but not just because of the sadness. also because the sadness is the only part about it that anyone knows.”

He ended with, “if you are grieving, you are not alone.”

Twitter responded in full force with more than 140,000 people reacting, many sharing their gutting stories of loss and grief, and offering support for one another.

“Sending you love,” wrote one person. “That was a brave thread. We lost our eldest son, aged 10, 15 years ago in December and our youngest son, aged 12, 9 years ago in December. We need to talk about them and keep remembering them.”

“Fisher is beautiful,” wrote another. “I’m sorry for your loss and your pain. My son died when he was 17. His name is Nick and he has been gone for 15 years. The wave of pain sweeps me away at the strangest times. We are in a special club, I guess.”

In an interview, Kayne said he feels lucky to have his surviving son, Truman; his daughter, Willa, 7; and his wife. But the pain of losing Fisher is often silently present.

He said he’s started asking people about the loved ones they’ve lost, in more than a passing way.

“I’ve become more direct with people about their grief,” he said. “When you do that, people are like, ‘Oh man, I can talk about this forever.’ ”

He said he hopes part of Fisher’s legacy will be that he prompts people to talk about grief, even on social media, which he said can at times be “a nonstop volcano of darkness.”

“The best of social media is stuff like this, where somebody shares something that is meaningful and feels purposeful or positive,” he said. “It just feels good to write it and put it someplace. If it’s of service to people, that’s a benefit.”

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