This Article is About
tragedy
odd kilometres
christmas celebrations
financial consequences
fellow author
traditional christmas
two cars
Death And Dying – The Tragedy Of Loosing A Child
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Death And Dying – the Tragedy Of Loosing A Child

An article written by a fellow author, reminded me of this tragic incident, where a friend and I became involved to aid grieving parents, house friends we had known for years. Acting as an aide during a time of grievance, relieving some of the duties requiring attention, can allow the parents time to grieve, and support each other.

Unfortunately this marriage did not weather the storm of the tragedy, and ended in a divorce. Whither the demise of the marriage was due entirely to the tragedy, we are not privy to, but the marriage took a down turn after the fact.

Lets set the scene of events. This happened to an English family who followed a traditional Christmas ritual. The daughter had reached an age where boyfriends had become an important part of life, specially steady relationships. Her wish this year, to go with her boyfriend and his family to their holiday home on the coast. Her mother, wanting her family with her at this time of year, had refused permission, ending in a family squabble. The daughter dug her heels in, an insisted on going. Her father acquiesced, but the Mother not, and the daughter decided to go.

This ended with mother and daughter not greeting on departure. The holiday family took off in two cars and travelled half the distance, where the stopped for the night. The fortunate stop over gave the daughter time to phone and make peace with her mother, a blessing realised the following day. An early start, saw the tourist expecting an early arrival at their destination, giving time to prepare for the Christmas celebrations of the next day. This did not happen, a vehicle failed to stop at an intersection and collided with the car in which the daughter was travelling. They say it was quick and she suffered no trauma, but the incident, a tragedy of momentous proportions.

The fact that the accident happened 600 odd kilometres from their home, brought financial consequences. The transporting of the body back to their home for burial, showed the profits that funeral homes place on a grieving family in their time of distress. My friend and I decided the cost ludicrous, and as he owned a VW Bus offered to collect the body and transport her to her home. The offer accepted, the permits obtained, a coffin borrowed and the trip began.

This journey, taken with all good intentions, had consequences unforeseen. Who knew we would have to verify and identity the body, when asked who was to undertake this procedure, neither of us too keen. We decided to do it together, the resultant shock unmistakable, how people change in death. We agreed it was her and the police surgeon, fortunately, placed her in the coffin and loaded it for us.

The journey to fetch the body filled with discussion, the return started quietly, with hardly a word. I'm not sure what we expected, or knew the etiquette required. We began to feel intense pressure upon us, and relief only followed when my friend related the early morning conversation he had with his wife. “How many cups must I put in the basket?” she had asked, meaning will I bring my own. “Only two Dear, she won't drinking with us.” his reply. This brought unsolicited and uncontrolled laughter, but brought the reality home. It was not wrong to laugh and joke at this time, if nothing else, it placed us in a better place to concentrate on the trip, rather than the passenger.

The trip completed, the body deliver to the mortuary, a saving amounting to thousands, the couple relieved of the duty and allowed to bury their child.

The tragic events destroyed their Christmas, but more importantly, their marriage. The demise was obvious to us all, and not one of us willing to intervene. The counselling required for their marriage, beyond our ability. Is this an excuse for not intervening? No, in hindsight we should not have avoided them, but rather supported them. “Stay away and let them solve their problems alone” a myth, get involved and be a support.

I often wonder if we had been there in their time of need, might they still be together!


Street Talk

Thanks Rob...

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Pleasure..

Reply
  about 6 years ago

Rob, this had to be a tough article to write. But this is great for people out there that turn inward, then seek comfort, after this type of tragedy. Good that you had the courage to face your actions, and to expose yourself to others who also have to make critical decisions. Clearly, I am not your judge, but you did right because the basic premise was solid: lead with your heart.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Dale.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Losing a child has to be one of the most emotional times in someones life. I just hope i never have to deal with it. I do believe you are right about intervening with the couple that needed help and friendship at one of the most tragic times in their lives. You also provided a link to another great article. This article really gets you thinking about how strong a marriage is and what would someone do if this was to happen in their life. You bring out some great points and leave me speechless.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thanks Rodney, my reason to write this article inspired by the link, one hopes that at some time someone will read an article that may help them through a crisis.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

A poignant story, Rob. Thank you for sharing and points well raised. What if?! A familiar refrain.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Did you notice the link in my article takes you to yours? It was your story that inspired me to write this one. So I say thank to you

Reply
  about 7 years ago

I realised my article was the inspiration but didn't realise you had included my link until now. That's very kind of you Rob. It's a worthy topic to raise... although I have no-where else to link it to at the moment. Probably not a 'niche' I will explore deeply. A bit out of my area of expertise! ;-) Amazing how many lives this topic touches though.

  
  about 7 years ago
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