Episode 573: Taking Responsibility

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Doing the Difficult Things

There are a lot of formative moments in people’s lives. These are the times where you don’t want to do something, but you know that it’s the right thing to do. Times where you do that difficult thing and become a fuller, more mature person as a result. I’m going to get a little personal with this one; I hope you guys don’t mind.

My moment like this happened when I was thirteen years old. My cousin, who was only a couple of months older than me, died in a snowmobile accident, and I was having a hell of a time with it. When it came time for the wake and the funeral, there was one thing that I was dreading more than anything else: the open casket. My other cousins, and friends of mine from school had talked about this a bit before hand, and the consensus was that it would be horrifying, and that none of us were going to “go look at him”. But as the funeral got closer, I had a nagging thought in my head that told me I would deeply regret it if I didn’t. The day came, and I forced myself to get up and walk up there; to say goodbye to him face to face. It was hard. Terribly hard, but I have always been glad I did it.

About this Episode:

We don’t see Stewart without his hat on very often. I see him as the type of character who uses the hat as a sort of personality shorthand; it’s part of how he sees himself. So coming in to see Brent without it is sort of an act of contrition writ small.

Discussion Question: Should Stewart Feel Guilty?

Stewart is obviously struggling a bit here with the role he played in Brent getting bitten by a zombie. Perhaps he feels a real responsibility, and perhaps this is simply survivor’s guilt. Regardless, it’s a real thing. Now, from your perspective, is this reasonable? Should he feel guilty?

9 thoughts on “Episode 573: Taking Responsibility”

  1. Two typos today:

    About This Episode, first sentence: one–>on 😀

    Discussion Question, first sentence: his–he’s 😀

    • Spotted a third typo, Zombie Cliche Lookout, second paragraph, second sentence, after the first comma: old–>older 😉

      • Fixed them all, thanks BrickVoid.

  2. Regarding your open casket funeral experience, I can only say I am very lucky not to have experienced any funerals like that. All of the few funerals I’ve been to have been were either a coffin or ashes. I’ve seen it done on on TV shows where they face-paint an actor or use a mannequin and I can only imagine what looking at a dead friend or relative in that way would be like in real life, although I suspect it wouldn’t be quite like they portray it on TV shows.

    • Also, that was indeed a very brave thing to do. The hardest thing is to say goodbye, even if the other person is no longer in the land of the living. I always feel the same way whenever someone dies, even total strangers, and I tend to feel sorrow at their loss, sometimes only for a little while, occasionally for much longer after the funeral. I guess it’s a natural human process of consoling oneself over the loss of someone you had any ties or closeness to.

      • It’s definitely a tough thing to come to terms with. My son recently lost his great-grandmother, and we’ve been really struggling with helping him understand it. He just can’t fathom why she can’t come back.

    • It’s definitely strange. I’ve been to quite a few open-casket funerals, and it’s always weird. It’s like the person looks just a little off. “Waxy” is how I’ve often heard it described.

  3. Personally, I don’t think Stewart should feel guilty. They both knew that there would be risks involved with tackling zombies, and that always includes getting bitten. Besides, during the time Brent was under attack, Stewart was pinned down by a zombie of his own. As such, he wouldn’t have been in a position to help Brent regardless of how badly he wanted to.

  4. Probably a little. A wouldn’t want someone in my group whi didn’t feel at least a little guilty in a situation like this.