[Dealing with Grief]: Accidental Deaths Vs. Deaths Due to Chronic illness

5 minutes

“Grief, no matter how you try to cater to its wail, has a way of fading away.”

― V.C. Andrews, Flowers in the Attic

Death comes to all, and when will it surprise you, is unknown to all. Losing someone is not easy, it does not matter whether the person was 100 years old or a baby of two months it still leaves the family and other in pain and trauma. Though it might be a relief for the dying person in some cases but for the family, it’s about letting go an important part of their lives. 

Generally an accidental death comes as a shock for the family as it comes totally uninvited while a person who dies during chronic illness is somewhat still accepted although lamps of hopes still burn but it still becomes easier for the family to accept it.

My Grandfather was 70 when we lost him after chronic illness, I still remember it was 31st January 2009 when my uncle called and told that they had to admit him due to lack of sodium in body which not only affected his brain functioning but also his bodily moments and in a weeks’ time he was in coma . He used to come into senses once in 7-8 days and then again back to coma. This situation worried us and nobody knew what was going to happen. Next all we could see were tubes on his bare body, even one hole was made near his neck for the tubes to drain out the fluid getting collected into his lungs. That site was so painful and unbearable. This went on for 2 months and finally we lost him on the ventilator.

Yes, it was extremely painful news for all of us yet somewhere it relieved us that he was free from all the pain he had to go through. When it comes to coping up, after a month we started to get back to normal life but my grand mom, was deeply affected by it and till now she is not completely over it. But one thing she is also thankful to the God is that he had been freed from all the pain.

Chronic illness not only leads to physical helplessness but also mental strain for the person going through it, as when they realize they are dependent on others and seeing them in pain adds more pain for the family. Therefore, in the case if death due to chronic illness,  somewhere for the family, it’s painful yet they have the satisfaction in mind that their loved one is free now and can rest in peace with the god above.

On the other hand, accidental deaths come as a major shock. Imagine you see off your husband for work and in the evening what you hear is he is never going to be with you ever again. A very dear family friend who must be in her early thirties said goodbye to her husband one morning. She later went for a Pooja in the afternoon. Someone complimented her as how beautiful she was looking and the glow on her face is making her look even more beautiful to which she smiled and blushed. Sadly, that was probably the last time when she had smiled so beautifully. She didn’t even shed a tear on hearing the news but went into shock when she arrived home and heard about her husband’s bike accident who died on the spot.

Till today, there is some emptiness in her eyes. Her son doesn’t even know what had happened, everyone in her family is still struggling to believe what happened 10 years back – out of nowhere the news of the death came and they lost everything.

There is a beautiful saying with deep meaning that goes like “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, and love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

Whether it is a death after a chronic illness or accident, it leaves us with pain, Yet an accidental death is a shock of suddenly created void – of not having a person – around while death after chronic illness might give some time for the loved ones to prepare themselves for the inevitable. But what in the end is left are the memories and to loose someone is a pain you only realize after not having them around. To cope with it you need time, you need time to accept it, you need time to learn to live with the emptiness, you need time for the wounds to heal  and to accept everyone is here just for a while.

Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.   ~Rossiter Worthington Raymond

Shaifali Verma

She is Masters in Counseling Psychology and also holds a Diploma in Life skills and Reproductive Health from Christ University.She is experienced in dealing with adolescent , relationship issues, transgenders and psychological trauma in relation to cancer and health issues.Shaifali believes in teamwork, effective communication and spreading & sharing smiles.There's one philosophy that she lives by - There's positivity in each and everyone of us, which when tapped and directed correctly, brings out the best in us.Through YourDOST she wishes to spread smiles by letting people share their burden, bring out their positive side and make them feel empowered.