Feeling unlucky

When I went to the fitness center today, I saw a half-dozen friends who asked how I was doing. They all know about my long recovery from brain surgery and are solicitous of my health.

I told them about Tom’s stroke. Several of them gave me a hug or patted my arm, and expressed sympathy and support.

But with two of them, a strange thing happened. They got this look of horror on their faces and physically backed away from me. Then averted their eyes. Left quickly.

You might think, “Well, they just didn’t know what to say.”

To me it felt like a primal reaction:  Get away from bad luck or you will become unlucky.

It’s a very old superstition that luck, good and bad, is contagious.

Everybody loves a winner because they’re perceived as lucky. We want to be around good luck so that it rubs off on us.

But when someone looks like a loser, or their good luck has changed to bad, we avoid them. As though the evil bad-luck spirit could reach out from them and grab us.

Some superstitions are grounded in reality. Infectious diseases, negative attitudes, dangerous crowds all have a contagion. Instinct may guide us away from them.

Strokes aren’t contagious, and it wasn’t bad luck that caused Tom and I to have them.

So friends, please stay near.

You don’t have to know what to say. Hugs are always welcome.

Today’s penny is a 2014, 7 plus 7, a year that was neither lucky nor unlucky. One person’s lucky 7 doesn’t prevent the next person from rolling a 7.

9 thoughts on “Feeling unlucky”

  1. It’s amazing that anyone would feel anything but love and support toward you and Tom. What an interesting (and sad) story about the psyche of others. Hugs from here.

  2. From my experience with Jared’s death at a very young age (3 years old) I feel that some of those people just didn’t know how to react or knew what to say. It still happens occasionally with people when the subject comes up.

    1. I remember you telling me that what made it harder to lose Jared was that no one wanted to talk about him. They were uncomfortable even if you talked about him. And he was such a beautiful little boy! Ever since, I have tried to be conscious of that when a friend loses a spouse, parent, or child – I encourage them to talk about the person who’s gone.

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