Death is an unfortunate yet necessary part of life. Exposure to death throughout my life has served as undeniable proof of my own mortality. Though I have not yet experienced any deaths of my immediate family or any close friends, I have seen it more indirectly through the media and deaths of acquaintances by fatal car accidents, overdoses, and suicides. I have also lost numerous childhood pets, which were probably some of my first more traumatic death experiences. The death of my grandpa William was the first funeral I remember attending and was also the largest gathering of mourning family members I have witnessed.
My grandpa died when I was eight or nine years old, in a pool drowning accident. He had Parkinson’s disease, which had immobilized most of his movement; he was confined to a wheel chair at the time of his death and relied heavily on family and caregiver assistance. My grandpa lived in Buffalo Grove, Illinois so I only saw him and my Grandma about once a year during vacations and family visits. Since I didn’t live near him and he was weak from the disease throughout most of my life, I didn’t have much of a chance to bond with him deeply. Despite this, he did mean a lot to me, he was the head of the family, my father’s father, and a role model.
I think I had a fairly accurate understanding of death when this occurred, though I had not witnessed mourning of my family to this extent. The deaths of my pets had taught me how death was permanent so I didn’t have any confusion about what was going on. It seems like this was my first real encounter with the death of a person that I had known my whole life, so it really enhanced my understanding of how finite human life is; it made me more aware of ...
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... well since the grief will be more intense since I have closer ties to the deceased. I will probably have a period of mourning and adapting to life without them.
In the occurrence of a death of an acquaintance or somebody I don’t interact with regularly I will react like I have in the past. I will mourn for the deceased and the families of the deceased by attending the funeral and briefly reflecting on the person and my relationship with them. After the funeral I won’t dwell on their death or continue grieving.
My grandfather’s passing was my first of many experiences I will inevitably have to endure and cope with. After each passing I hope gain more acceptance of death and learn how to accommodate loved ones and myself more effectively. In life, death is equally as important as birth; one without the other would throw everything off balance.
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