Coping with Tragedy


Will Anderson, Staff Reporter

Is it worse to have family member have a long played out death or a quick flash and then they’re gone.

For the past seven months my grandfather has been slowly dying of congestive heart failure. He is in the fourth stage out of four and will die in the coming weeks.

A month ago, my father went to the hospital with my grandfather in Memphis. He stayed for 3 weeks and sat with him for surgeries and helped him around. At one point, he had to stay awake to check on my grandfather every three minutes, for 36 hours straight. He was tired. The emotional, mental, and physical pain he endured was outstanding.

We have all been grieving of the coming loss, but we all wonder if would it be less hurtful for the pain to cease. As awful as it may be, having someone you love die instantaneously can be less stressful than having someone suffer through pain for months on end.

One reason to want a loved one to stay with you a little longer and endure the pain, is so you don’t have guilt when they die.

When people die or are dying, their loved ones start to look inside themselves for some past experience where they had been a bad person towards the person who died. It seems that when someone dies the people around them only look at the bad times they were together and not the good times.

When a friend of mine died, I was only able to reflect on the times i was a jerk to him, but after several months of thinking on it, I realized that we were friends who just playfully bantered. I hadn’t been a terrible person, it was just how we acted toward each other.

On countless occasions on T.V. and movies, a loved one of the main character dies before they can confess some guilt worthy thing they had on their chest. The dying character would be dead and this guilty secret would destroy one of the people around them.

When a when a person in your family dies, you have come to terms with it. When my grandfather was “dying” of cancer before being diagnosed with congestive heart failure, it had gotten fairly bad. We didn’t think that we had much time left with him. The next week he got worse and I came to terms with his death.

When my father said he was going to Tennessee to be with him and my family asked me if I wanted to come. I said no because I didn’t have a reason to. They said that it would make him feel better, but the last time I saw him he didn’t even know my name.

After a while my parents decided to have him live with us. We went and moved him out of his house in Tennessee to our house in Texas.

Now that he’s moved in he’s been in higher spirits and has been happy to see us. He hasn’t needed to go to the hospital in three weeks. I’m glad I’ve been able to spend the past several weeks with him.