Lifespan Human Growth and Development
May 22, 2012
Death is inevitable. All people know that death is something we will all have to face. There is always a chain of events, even when we are dealing with death. When life follows the normal chain, we know our Grandparents, then parents, and then children should be the guideline and order of sequence of death. There is normally a minimum of 3 generations that live in one period, and as children we know our grandparents are older, and the oldest are the ones to face death first. Unfortunately it does not always follow the proper sequence and life takes an unexpected turn, and a child dies leaving everyone with a great loss, and the question of “why”.
Dealing with death drastically changes everyone’s lives, but the death of a child leaves everyone involved empty, and questioning how life can be so cruel. Children are not supposed to die. Parents expect to see their children grow and mature. “ Ultimately, parents expect to die and leave their children behind...This is the natural course of life events, the life cycle continuing as it should. The loss of a child is the loss of innocence, the death of the most vulnerable and dependent. The death of a child signifies the loss of the future, of hopes and dreams, of new strength, and of perfection.”(Arnold and Gemma 1994, iv, 9, 39) Through this loss the family of the child will go through many stages. These stages are called the seven stages of grief. Everyone closely involved goes through the same stages, but sometimes deal with them very differently. When the child passes away, the first stage of death is shock and denial. During this stage the family looks at the death of the child in disbelief, and many times will deny the loss, because it is too painful to deal with. Shock is unavoidable, because the death of a child is an unacceptable loss. This stage normally last for weeks, and sometimes months. After the first stage passes the next 2 stages seem to be the ones that test the faith, commitment, and sometimes the sanity of most parents and family members. The second stage is Anger and bargaining. The shock wears off, and anger sets in; however, included in this stage blame can be placed on another innocent grieving person for the death of the child. Bargaining makes the family question "Why me?” Many times each family member may try to bargain with mistakes or wrong choices they have made in life, and want to change, making statements like, "I will never drink again if you just bring him back". The next stage is Depression, Reflection, Loneliness, and during this time, the family finally realizes the true significance of their loss, and it becomes very depressing. Many isolate themselves on purpose, reflecting on things they did with the child, and focus on memories of the past. Depression may have to be treated when this stage occurs. This stage lasts the longest, and challenges the strongest of people. The next stage is what professionals call, the upward turn. This stage begins when dealing with the death of the child somehow begins to become easier. Families begin to learn to cope, and depression becomes a lot less present. This stage transitions easily into the next, which is reconstruction, and working through. Reconstruction is when you start rebuilding your life, financially, and emotionally. Life begins to have more meaning, and you realize life can go on even though the child is no longer alive. Acceptance and hope, the last of the stages of grief begins to appear. Families begin to heal, and accept the loss of the child. They realize there is a reason for living, and regain hope that life can go on without the child that died. Most families feel that this stage will never come. Dealing with the death of a child is a hurdle in life that challenges every aspect of a parent, and family’s existence. A child’s death is a devastating