Death- it may be the one thing we all have in common


Recently we discussed traumatic death and that has had an impact on the way I viewed things with the loss of my grandmother. Accidents are the fifth cause of death in the United States. Having this knowledge reminds me that I am not alone in the experiencing a traumatic death and that many people have confusing coping processes because of the unexpected event. Learning the common characteristics among traumatic deaths opened up my understanding. I now understand why it was so hard for me to cope. Losing my grandmother in a car accident was abrupt and allowed me no time to adjust to life without her- no time for the idea of life without her. With my grandmother acting as my caretaker while my mother worked to support us, life after was a disaster. We all were most hurt because it could have easily been prevented in many ways. She could have come with us on our trip, my aunt could have waited until the rain had stopped to drive her home, and the other driver could have used more sense when driving recklessly. After many years, I realize it is important to let go. Things happen for a reason and are out of our control for a purpose.

After reflecting over the entire semester I also found that watching the film “Between Life and Death” also impacted me greatly. I remembering crying harder than normal during the movie, and now I know it was not because of the movie but because of the memories it evoked of my grandmother. She was in a persistent vegetative state and had no brain function. My mother was the next of kin and deemed responsible for making the decision of continuing to prolong her medical induced coma or taking her off the ventilator. We believed it was most humane to take her off of life support. After watching the movie, it confirmed my belief in that my mother made the right decision. Allowing for the memories to resurface gave me the opportunity to really process everything that happened. I had suppressed them for so long, it was time I had dealt with the big issues surrounding her death.

We talked about medical advancements changing the way death occurs. From personal experience, I do believe now in most cases it is a process rather than an event. My grandmother was resuscitated three times before arriving to the hospital. I do believe everyone deserves a fighting chance, but I must argue how much fight is in a person when they need life sustaining medical equipment. It is really hard to decide what I would want in a situation like this. I would like to think I would rather not die in a hospital, but there is something about humanity that always pushes us to try to survive instead of gracefully letting go. I appreciate this class for making me consider end of life decisions and exciting my passion for life.



2 thoughts on “Death- it may be the one thing we all have in common

  1. I am glad to hear you found this class educational and helpful to the experience you went through. I am sure it was not easy at all but I also learned that it is important to understand when it is time to go and understand that no one could have changed what happened even though in your head you analyze different things that could have happened. I agree that everyone deserves a fighting chance to see if there is anything that could hurt or help the health issue but when nothing seems to be working for the individual, it is best to let go then to keep struggling with medical advancements.

  2. I have never personally experienced a traumatic loss, but I do understand what that must feel like. After my dad passed, I didn’t cry at his funeral; in face, I didn’t cry for years. I always joked around with my friends about how my tear ducts must be broken. My tears were turned into anger and lots of stomach aches. Suddenly, one day I found myself crying for absolutely no reason. I felt my cheeks, they were so wet and I picked up a picture of my dad. My main fear of crying was that I would never be able to stop. After the tears came pouring out of my eyes, my fear came to reality. I cried for hours which turned into a full day. My dad died of cancer in 2006, we were expecting the death; but, I never let my brain click into reality. Everyday I allowed myself to wait for his phone call, I thought about it all the time, when his gf called me I would never talk about him. I knew he wasn’t here but I refused to believe that he was gone for good. The day those tears came falling down my whole world began to spin. I felt that I had suddenly lost the one man that meant more than anything to me, and I never thought about what it would be like to live without him. Today, I miss him, but I know I will see him again, one day.

    Traumatic deaths are hard. Grieving is harder. There is no wrong way to grieve, but I’m glad this class has brought you more comfort than it did before. Everyday you will heal a little more. You will never forget her. Smile for the memories and appreciate the time you had with her. I wish you much luck on your journey through recovery.

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