When a tragedy happens to an individual, there is someone in their life who is The Person Who Tells. He/she spreads the word and any updates. Being that person is part ego trip and part anxiety release.
There is a feeling of importance as you somberly tell others, "X died" or "Y is in the hospital." The thrill of morbid gossip watching reactions. Of course there is that underlying fear of if that happened to him, it could happen to me! So, the more details you have, the safer you feel. Oh, they fell. The family has a history of [condition].
I used to really enjoy being The Person Who Tells. It was like living a soap opera. Oh the savory drama! Then, I wound up on the other side. The tragedy happened to me. I found out what was said and who was told what afterwards. It felt very violating. Half wasn't true and half was very private medical information. As I was dealing with my own recovery, I encountered people with really inappropriate reactions/questions.
One of my co-workers is dealing with a personal tragedy this week and as I have dealt with the work Person Who Tells, I find myself getting annoyed with every hushed update followed by "Oh my God.." reactions. Then I remind myself there is a level of fear being dissipated with each update. But for those of us who have been on the other side, the updates don't release anything. We know how suddenly the world can change.
The Person Who Tells hasn't had experience with life's sound and fury. I wound up being a Person Who Tells a couple years after my own tragedy and I fell into a very deep depression afterwards. There was no joy in the drama and each update reminded me of the hospitals, the tests, and machines. In fact, I believe the inexperienced are the perfect People Who Tell. They have no baggage and heck if anyone can enjoy such a horrible situation, let ignorance be bliss.