I was doing a short hospital attachment the other day, and while I was hanging around the nurses’ station, one of the first pieces of news that came was that a patient had died. And suddenly, there was a lot of shuffling as the doctors tried to determine the cause of death and the nurses tried to deal with the grief-stricken family and everyone doing our level best to not disturb the other patients.
Death is one of those things that changes your life forever. Yet it is so inevitable. In some strange indescribable way, death leaves its mark on us even long after the incident. I remember my grandmother dying, and how sad I felt at her funeral. And many many years after her death, I still have periodic bouts of sadness that grip me. And it’s the same with other people I know who have died. That same attack of grieving that happens, sometimes long after they have been laid to rest.
Psychologists tell us there are five stages of grief, and that each of us goes through the stages at different paces. Some of us recover faster. Some of us take a longer time. But death, never fails to impact.
I wonder which is worse. Being cut off from someone knowing that he or she has died? Or being cut off from someone knowing that he or she is not dead?