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Death and tragedy

(24 Posts)
Baggs Thu 10-Sep-20 17:19:46

I've just heard this sentence again: "Every death is a tragedy". Quite often it's "although every death is a tragedy...."

I don't agree that every death is a tragedy. Even my own mother's death at the end of a long and good life last year was not a tragedy. Sadness was involved but also joy. Joy at how lucky we had been to have had such good parents (my dad died a long time ago). This goodness of purpose, this depth of life, is part of our inheritance. There is a richness in it and a calm joy. My mother's death was not tragic. It was peaceful. It was the natural thing. In a sense she was lucky. And so were we not to have seen her suffering as our father had.

lemongrove Thu 10-Sep-20 17:25:28

I agree Baggs and there are also the deaths at any age where the person is really suffering with no hope of improvement, and death can be a welcome release.
Modern society is now aghast at the thought of death, even of old age.

MissAdventure Thu 10-Sep-20 17:29:38

I think every death is a tragedy, just as every birth is a miracle.
There are times when death is the only inevitable conclusion, but still, it's a momentous thing.

Esspee Thu 10-Sep-20 17:36:51

Momentous yes, tragic? not usually. I would use tragic for things like death during childbirth. When I go I will have had a long and interesting life. I certainly hope my loved ones take it in their stride.

Jayt Thu 10-Sep-20 17:39:33

I wonder if you are quoting Nicola Sturgeon from her daily report on Covid-19. She always says this when she has to report a Covid-19 related death and in that context, it is tragic. However, many deaths are a blessed relief for the deceased. Modern society should be taught about death in their social education classes in secondary school and then they might be more accepting of the inevitable result of having lived. I worked in executry administration and was surprised at how often there needed to be someone/something to blame for the death. We expect a remedy for every complaint nowadays but there isn’t.

sodapop Thu 10-Sep-20 17:50:53

I agree with lemongrove for some people death is a welcome release from suffering. Not all deaths are tragic either, after a long life that is the natural conclusion. Of course there will be sadness for remaining friends and family but not tragedy.

MerylStreep Thu 10-Sep-20 17:51:22

Absolutely Baggs for some years I've been aware that the general population won't accept death as a natural part of life.

Oopsadaisy4 Thu 10-Sep-20 17:54:18

To me a tragic death is a life suddenly cut short, whether by an accident or illness.

An elderly persons death , to me , isn’t tragic, upsetting yes, but often a relief that the suffering has ended.

However, to me a childs death is always tragic.

silverlining48 Thu 10-Sep-20 18:00:52

After a long life death is not a tragedy, it’s sad but inevitable, the death of a young person is a different matter and if that person is your child it is something which is impossible to ever fully recover from.

SueDonim Thu 10-Sep-20 18:04:32

I agree with you, Baggs. Not every death is a tragedy. My 94yo neighbour died last year. She was still up and doing, looking after herself at home. We'd seen her in her car the previous week. She spent the evening with one of her grandsons, then went to bed and simply didn’t wake up again next morning.

It was a shock for the grandson but in all other ways, it seemed to have been the ideal way to go. No fuss, no bother.

On the other hand, a 22yo friend of my daughter’s took her own life at about the same time. She had never had any MH issues yet this horrendous event came out of the blue. That truly was, is and always will be a tragedy. sad

Chewbacca Thu 10-Sep-20 18:04:34

silverlining put it so much better than I could have. I agree with her entirely.

GrandmaKT Thu 10-Sep-20 18:06:40

Yes, I agree Oopsadaisy4.
I was vert close to my father and ever since I was a child I dreaded the day that he would die and how I would manage without him. When the time came, last year, he was 90 years old, and although mercifully had been spared Altimeters or similar, his body had deteriorated to such a degree that he couldn't enjoy any of the social activities that he had loved. All his children made it to his hospital bed and he passed away that night. Instead of the awful anguish I had anticipated, I just thought "Yes, it's time".
The awful events of this year have only made me more glad that he went how and when he did, Sadness, but in no sense a tragedy.

sparklingsilver28 Thu 10-Sep-20 18:24:06

I understand that we are all born to die. When, however, a natural process is hastened by neglect then it is indeed a tragedy. You would do to well to remember yours is yet to come, and euthanasia still on the table.

Oopsadaisy4 Thu 10-Sep-20 18:58:37


I understand that we are all born to die. When, however, a natural process is hastened by neglect then it is indeed a tragedy. You would do to well to remember yours is yet to come, and euthanasia still on the table.

Not quite sure what your last sentence means or the context.

MissAdventure Thu 10-Sep-20 19:02:03

Me neither, but it gave me the slight heebie jeebies.

Oopsadaisy4 Thu 10-Sep-20 19:09:44


Missfoodlove Thu 10-Sep-20 19:15:32

It is the circumstance of death that may be tragic not the death itself.

M0nica Thu 10-Sep-20 19:21:42

My sister's death was a tragedy, killed in a road accident at the age of 45, just about to give up a successful career at the head of a heritage organisation and go back to university to train as a textile conservator.

My father's eventual death,after three months fully in his right mind and alert and slowly suffocating as he had to struggle harder and harder for every breathe as is aortic valve slowly completely blocked was not a tragedy, but a sweet relief. It was his process of dying that was the tragedy. He was 92.

grandtanteJE65 Sun 13-Sep-20 11:28:42

Death is a natural phenomonen. So are forest fires, earthquakes, disease and a great number of other things we don't like, enjoy or particularly want to think about.

Death can be tragic - a child's death always feels like that.

Dying at the end of a long life is not tragic, the old reach a point when they are ready to go. Some are ready for death long before death is ready for them.

Seriously ill people often reach that point too, but not as resignedly as the old in my experience.

Like it or not, death is inevitable, which is what we should try to understand and teach the young.

Kamiso Sun 13-Sep-20 11:59:48

My sweet Irish granny was extremely religious and had no fear of dying. Having been bedridden for three years the family was shocked to find she had been resuscitated three times. This is quite a brutal process for an 80+ year old frail lady.

My FIL and MIL had both made their wishes clear but the family was ignored despite being called in to discuss their situations.

My Granny and MIL both wanted to join their late husbands. Even if some think that’s nonsense surely their views and feelings should be paramount.

Just because modern medicine can prolong life doesn’t mean it necessarily should.

NotSpaghetti Tue 15-Sep-20 18:22:18

I am fortunate to have no tragic deaths in my family.
My mother's was a quiet release. She died very early morning as the sun rose. It was a good death.

I think (mostly) we are too distanced from death these days - I am speaking more generally here, not Coronavirus deaths. Birth and death are both kept apart from us it seems.

downtoearth Tue 15-Sep-20 18:36:56

Mum and dad dying was painful,but my first born daughter would have been 42 today,born with brain damage due to mismanaged birth,and my middle daughter aged 23 taking her own life leaving me with her 4year old daughter where to me tragic,she would have been 40 in june this year.
My darling E growing up without her mum is tragic.

phoenix Tue 15-Sep-20 18:38:42

The death of my beloved stepfather at 66 was actually a blessed relief. He went from being a extremely active man, to a shadow of himself, due to cancer. Yes, you could think of it as a tragedy due to his age, but a relief to see an end to his pain and suffering.

The death of my darling DS2 at the age of 19 when he hanged himself was a tragedy.

PamelaJ1 Tue 15-Sep-20 19:54:15

Some deaths are tragic but most aren’t. Some posters on here have very sad stories. I don’t just mean on this thread.

The mother of one of my friends has just died. My friend , although sad for herself, commented that if only death could have the same time span as birth. Her mother should have died about 18months ago. She feels guilty because she’s glad her mother is, finally, at peace.