to think the loss of my mum at 85 was tragic

(133 Posts)
highho1 Sun 12-Jan-14 23:22:56

Sorry this is a bit of a thread about a thread but it has got to me.
My mum died following a fall at 85. She may have only has a few more years left if she hadn't had the fall.
But at least than she would have possibly met her final grandchild. (My 3rd dd)
Aibu to think the loss of a older person can still be tragic.

Jinsei Sun 12-Jan-14 23:23:47

Of course it ca

BlackeyedShepherdswatchsheep Sun 12-Jan-14 23:26:41

yanbu. my mum is 82. I hate the a good age thing.

Jinsei Sun 12-Jan-14 23:26:49

Oops, posted too soon!

Of course it can - just because someone has led a long life, doesn't mean that their death can't be tragic. Depends on circumstances really, and the perspectives of those describing it.

I'm sorry about the loss of your mum. sad

McFox Sun 12-Jan-14 23:31:32

Sorry for your loss hmm

It is clearly a tragedy to you and your family, and I really don't believe that age has anything to do with it.

McFox Sun 12-Jan-14 23:32:14

Sorry for your loss hmm

It is clearly a tragedy to you and your family, and I really don't believe that age has anything to do with it.

elQuintoConyo Sun 12-Jan-14 23:32:34

Yanbu. thanks

McFox Sun 12-Jan-14 23:33:31

Sorry for your loss hmm

It is clearly a tragedy to you and your family, and I really don't believe that age has anything to do with it.

Any loss can be (is) tragic - anyone we love will be missed and mourned sad
I'm sorry about your Mum OP sad

AlfAlf Sun 12-Jan-14 23:34:00

Yes, and you should have had a good few more years with your dear mum if it wasn't for the fall. I'm really sorry xxx
I glimpsed that other thread but couldn't read fully or post, I'm sorry if it's hurt you.
My granny passed away at 99, she was on her way for a while (well, 6 monthsish, after 98 years of being pretty much fit as a fiddle) and we couldn't have been more well-prepared for it.. We still all felt the loss like a terrible blow, even though we knew she'd had her time and had a life full of love.
But this was your mum, and she should have had more time. Hugs x

ComposHat Sun 12-Jan-14 23:34:45

Upsetting for you and those close to her and of course you grieve her loss, but given that we all have to die, I wouldn't personally see someone at a ripe old age, dying instantly fom a fall (I hope I got this bit right, if not apologies) a tragedy in the conventional sense. If someone offered me thst as a way to go, I would prefer it infinitely to cancer or dementia.

McFox Sun 12-Jan-14 23:36:20

Sorry, having phone issues.

IneedAwittierNickname Sun 12-Jan-14 23:37:53

Of course its still tragic

Sorry for your loss thanks

Goldmandra Sun 12-Jan-14 23:38:02

It's awful to lose someone you loved deeply and will miss terribly.

I miss members of my family who have passed away, especially my aunt who died nearly 14 years ago and I still think of her often and wish I could take her to places I come across that I know she would have loved. She adored my DD1 and never got to meet DD2 who is named after her.

However, to lose the older generation of your family is expected and the natural order of things. It's something we think about and mentally prepare ourselves for from the time we first learn about death as a child.

Losing a grandparent isn't something that one would expect to find so devastating that one was still missing days at work six months later. In order to maintain our mental health we have to find a way to begin functioning again and living our own lives alongside grieving the person we have lost. Otherwise our life ends with our first bereavement.

That level of incapacity from the death of a child would be more understandable and the death of someone very young is seen as more tragic because they have missed out on so much that those who live to an old age get to experience.

Elderly people who die still leave enormous holes in our lives.

jellybeans Sun 12-Jan-14 23:41:21

Yanbu. It is tragic to lose any loved one.

echt Sun 12-Jan-14 23:46:07

Sorry for your loss, highho1. Yes, death at an older age is still tragic for those close to them, and I think that much of the "good innings", while well-intended can diminish the significance of the loss. It's for the bereaved to say, not their comforters.

minmooch Sun 12-Jan-14 23:48:49

I am sorry for the loss of your Mum. I think it can be very sad for the person mourning the loved one that they have lost. And sad for the things that person will miss.

I think tragic would depend on the circumstances really. It is the use of the word tragic that probably causes disagreement from others.

If someone has been able to live a long life, achieved things, got married, had children, met grandchildren then to me that is a great life to celebrate. Not minimising the sadness of that person passing.

My viewpoint is that I have a terminally ill 18 year old son who won't have the chance if a long life or to achieve marriage or kids (if that is what he had wanted). To me that is a tragedy.

It is all relevant to the individual.

peggyundercrackers Sun 12-Jan-14 23:55:34

Of course it is still a tragedy - age has nothing to do with it. I hate when people say but they lived 'til a good age... What does it matter their age... I still miss them terribly! I know when the time comes for my parents its going to be a really hard thing to deal with for me. Sorry for your loss.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sun 12-Jan-14 23:59:41

Of course. My DM died just after her 70th birthday. DD will not remember her. She never met DB's DD's.

Of course it is tragic. 39, 49, 99. Still a tragedy.

flowers

BackforGood Sun 12-Jan-14 23:59:56

What composhat and goldmandra said.
I think most of us feel devastated when he lose a parent, but while that sad personal loss is hugely significant, and sometimes qite devastating to you, it doesn't mean that it is 'tragic' as that has quite a diffent meaning from an elderly prson passing without a long drawn out illness and loss of dignity or long periods of pain.
Sorry for your loss.

fortyplus Mon 13-Jan-14 00:02:47

So sorry for your loss.

I would say that a person's death at this age is not tragic in itself, but that it would be fair to say that your mum died 'after a tragic accident'.

hoppinghare Mon 13-Jan-14 00:04:41

I am so sorry your son is so sick minmooch.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Mon 13-Jan-14 00:07:09

minmooch flowers

lookoveryourshouldernow Mon 13-Jan-14 00:43:15

...sorry for your loss - my Mum died this week too - so I know what you are going through... she was 84 ... she had a good innings but not such a good "outings"...

BlingBang Mon 13-Jan-14 01:01:56

Sorry about your mum Op, my mum died in her 60's - way too young and it was awful and hurt like hell. Wouldn't call it a tragedy though of course it is heart breaking to those of us who loved her. i can't help thinking that getting to an old age, having family around who love you and really grieve your passing is somethng to celebrate - no matter that it still hurts when they pass. I knew of parents whose children died not long after my mum and even though I was grieving for my mum this really affected me and really was tragic.

Minmooch - so sorry about your son, that goes beyond awful.

Oblomov Mon 13-Jan-14 01:02:33

Sorry for your loss.
Maybe tragic is not the right word.
I am not disputing the loss or the sadness.
If someone dies suddenly, unexpectedly, that is different to having an very elderly parent who has had numerous falls, is becoming more fragile.
Dh's mum is like this. I love her, she is lovely. She is 84. We have talked about how she is becoming more fragile and we might lose her sooner rather than later.
This won't affect the sadness and tears, that dh will have when it finally does happen.
But it will not be entirely unexpected.so I wouldn't think that 'tragic' was quite the right word.

Whathaveiforgottentoday Mon 13-Jan-14 01:02:41

I'm sorry to hear the loss of your mum, I think when you lose your mum, it is difficult at any age.
I'm not sure I would apply the word tragic though. I lost both grandmothers recently and both were in their 90's and to be honest, both had good lives, not easy, but good lives, and although I miss them terribly, I felt it was just their time. If I have such a good long life I will consider myself one of the lucky ones. In both cases, they were very ill at the end and in great pain.
I think tragic is when you lose someone before they've had a chance to live.

However, I dread the day I lose my mum and perhaps on that day I will feel like you.

WhenWhyWhere Mon 13-Jan-14 01:15:20

So sorry about your loss.

Of course your mothers accident was tragic however I understand what the poster on the other thread was trying to convey. I don't really know what you are trying to achieve with this thread. Tragic is just a word - everyone's perception of death and morning are different. My mil still talks about her parents who passed away 40-50 years ago. She talks about them ALL the time. I might think she is being unreasonable but I bet she doesn't.
I loved my gran very much and spoke to her all the time but I wasn't that upset when she died. She was very old and had had a happy life. I didn't take a single day off work and I didn't even cry. I guess some people might think me heartless. I certainly never thought of her death as tragic. Everyone is different.

WhenWhyWhere Mon 13-Jan-14 01:16:59

I meant mourning not morning blush. Also, I hope my post didn't sound arsey, it wasn't meant to.

TheTruffleHunter Mon 13-Jan-14 01:36:09

So sorry for your loss OP. sounds like your Mum's death was unexpected, and in any event would have been terribly distressing for you.

Anyone who does the 'she was so old/it was a blessing' - except in very particular circs obviously - can just fuck right off.

Do not feel you don' t have the right to grieve OP, please.

sykadelic15 Mon 13-Jan-14 01:37:50

My dad was 93 when he passed. Though he'd been sick, his eventual end was not expected.

It is incredibly crass and heartless to tell anyone that it's not a "tragic loss". It up to the mourner to decide whether it's tragic. The definition o tragic is: "causing or characterized by extreme distress or sorrow."

Don't tell me that my dad lived a good life. I know he did, but that doesn't mean I should be okay with his death or grieve less. Don't tell me that because he was sick I shouldn't consider it "tragic" to lose him.

He will never meet any kids we might have. He'll never meet the child my sister is pregnant with. Walk my other siblings down the aisle (if that happens). My mother still cries herself to sleep some nights. She still misses his cuddles.

Yes, he was older. But he was my dad and my family and I get to decide if his loss is tragic, and it was. The world lost a wonderful man.

squeakytoy Mon 13-Jan-14 01:46:45

Yanbu. I lost my mum in almost the same circumstances. She was 79 but in excellent health, very independent, and there was no reason to think she didn't have a good 10 or 15 years left if not more.

She had a fall at home due to slipping off a stool while changing her window blinds, broke her wrist and died due to an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic she had when they were resetting her wrist.

I was devastated and feel cheated too. Almost six years now since it happened and I still miss her terribly.

squeakytoy Mon 13-Jan-14 01:47:23

Yanbu. I lost my mum in almost the same circumstances. She was 79 but in excellent health, very independent, and there was no reason to think she didn't have a good 10 or 15 years left if not more.

She had a fall at home due to slipping off a stool while changing her window blinds, broke her wrist and died due to an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic she had when they were resetting her wrist.

I was devastated and feel cheated too. Almost six years now since it happened and I still miss her terribly.

BlingBang Mon 13-Jan-14 01:47:52

Obviously we all see it different. My mum was 66, a sudden and brief fucking awful illness. Have never though of it as tragic, sad and heartbreaking for us, but not tragic.

BlingBang Mon 13-Jan-14 01:51:41

Just think that people who make it past 80 or such and have people who love them and will miss them - are actually very lucky in life. Surely that's a life fully lived and we should celebrate that.

ZillionChocolate Mon 13-Jan-14 07:13:08

If you think it's tragic, then it's tragic. I'm sorry for your loss.

I have found it easier to lose elderly relatives than younger ones who have missed out on a lot more.

ChoudeBruxelles Mon 13-Jan-14 07:15:10

It's not tragic. People dying is tragic but when someone young dies I think there is a different sense of them not having accomplished in life what they could have done.

NigellasDealer Mon 13-Jan-14 07:19:15

well it is very sad and upsetting for you but not 'tragic' tbh

MrsBungle Mon 13-Jan-14 07:19:23

My mum died aged 52. She never got to meet any of her grandchildren. I find that tragic. My granny died aged 82 and whilst I mourned her immensely I didn't have the feeling of her being 'cheated' out an 'acceptable' length of life.

WandaDoff Mon 13-Jan-14 07:29:22

I'm very sorry for your loss. thanks

TBH, personally for me I found my Mum's death at 47, & my sister's death at 34 & DSS death at 14 tragic.

When my Dad died at 70, it was very sad & we miss him terribly, but it wasn't tragic, it was the end of a life well lived.

insancerre Mon 13-Jan-14 07:29:27

when someone close dies we all grieve, regardless of their age. that grieving process is different for teenage sibinjg than for an elderly grandparent. well, it was for me .the death of a parent is different again. the way in which aperson dies can make adeath more tragic

Jinty64 Mon 13-Jan-14 07:36:55

My dad died in his early 50's (not much older than I am now). The same week our neighbours little girl was hit and killed by a car. Even whilst mourning my dad, young as I was, I could understand the different impact these 'tragedies' would have in years to come.

I lost my Mum, quite suddenly, recently. She was in her late seventies. I am sad that my dad missed seeing his children making their way in life and didn't get to meet his grandchildren but I shared my adult life with my Mum and miss our companionship so much. To me her loss has been much harder but I don't think I could call it a tragedy.

formerbabe Mon 13-Jan-14 07:56:24

Of course you will be devestated by the loss of your mum...but as someone who lost my mum when I was a child, I am struggling to see it as a tragic death. My parents didn't get to meet either of my children or even know me as an adult. I'm sorry for your loss but YABU.

Bumply Mon 13-Jan-14 07:57:05

My mum died in her 80s of cancer.
It was quick enough that we didn't have to suffer a long drawn out painful illness, but long enough that she got to say her goodbyes and let us know she was content with her life and ready to go.
Not tragic in our circumstances, but I bloody miss her now a few years after.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 13-Jan-14 07:59:08

It's very sad, and I'm sorry for your loss.

I wouldn't use the word 'tragic'.

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 13-Jan-14 08:19:50

I think it's a personal thing. If you feel it's tragic then it absolutely is. No one has the right to tell you how to feel about losing a loved one.

My Aunt died at 97. If she had died of natural causes it would have been sad but she was a very healthy,sprightly, funny and intelligent women who really didn't seem like a 97 year old. She was knocked over by a car on a pedestrian crossing while out shopping and died in hospital as a result.I think there is tragedy in that.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Stokes Mon 13-Jan-14 08:28:27

The loss of a parent can be devastating, and the grief may never fully leave you. That is completely understandable and I think most people would acknowledge and empathise with that grief.

But the loss of a woman in her 80s who married, had children and grandchildren is not tragic IMO.

Death is the only guarantee in life, everyone you love will die at some point, and the only way not to experience that grief is to die before them.

I have lost two good friends in their 20s, the tragedy of those lives cut short was incomparable to the deaths of my grandparents in their 80s.

KittensoftPuppydog Mon 13-Jan-14 08:34:10

I do know that the age of the person who died has nothing to do with the amount you grieve for them.
Grief is more complicated than that.

ComposHat Mon 13-Jan-14 08:43:18

kittensoft I agree, that it is complex, but having experienced the death of a school friend who dies of cancer in his mid 20s, my overwhelming emotion was of the unfairness of it all, how could it happen so young and the life he was cheated of.

Whilst I was more upset when my my grandad died at the age of 82, a few months earlier, I didn't f feel the sense of a terrible injustice having been done.

Ragwort Mon 13-Jan-14 08:46:08

I agree that I don't think I would use the word 'tragic' to describe an elderly person's death; my parents are in their 80s and, although currently in very good health, I (and they) are well aware that they probably won't have many years left. Death is something you expect as you get older and of course it will be very sad when they die, but I don't think I will consider it a 'tragedy' - unlike losing my young nephew to cancer or other family members who have died young. An elderly friend of mine has just lost her grand-daughter in truly shocking and tragic circumstances, her exact words to me were 'why couldn't it have been me, I have led a long & happy life, I was ready to go' sad.

But it's only a word, it is very sad to lose a parent, whatever age, and it is important for you to grieve in the way that you want to.

WooWooOwl Mon 13-Jan-14 08:48:23

Taking an individual case in isolation, yes it can be tragic. But it doesn't begin compare to the tragedy of a parent dying young and leaving young children behind, or of a teenager or child dying.

There isn't any need to compare of course because we don't need to compete over who has the worst grief, but I think the word tragic is one of those that shouldn't be over used because otherwise it minimises situations that are truly horrific.

PerpendicularVince Mon 13-Jan-14 09:17:59

I'm so sorry for your loss. Of course it's tragic, you've lost your mum.

Irrespective of her age, you love her and this is a tragedy to you and your family. However, I wouldn't think about the wording you use or ask others permission to use it.

PerpendicularVince Mon 13-Jan-14 09:18:55

Posted too soon; I hope you have support in RL and time to grieve flowers.

StraightLineOfResignation Mon 13-Jan-14 09:21:29

So sorry about your mum,

Yes i agree , my Granddad was 86 , it was still tragic x

tunnocksteacake Mon 13-Jan-14 09:28:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 13-Jan-14 09:29:04

tunnocks thanks

Itstartshere Mon 13-Jan-14 09:29:48

I think if you are devastated, distraught, feel cheated, you have every right to feel all those things. You get to feel however you want. I'm sorry for your loss.

But I do feel it's wrong to say it's tragic when an elderly person dies. To my mind certain words do have special meaning. It devalues them to use them inappropriately. A child dying is tragic, a person being murdered is tragic. We need to have a vocabulary for these things which are so shocking. It is natural that old people die. Without medicine, we wouldn't live to the age we do, it is not a right, it is a privilege. I will be devastated when my parents die, they are my parents. But I will not label it tragic, I will try to be glad they had such a good innings (but I do appreciate if someone has an awful death that must feel very hard to do. I don't want to minimise how grim some deaths are).

whatever5 Mon 13-Jan-14 09:56:43

I'm sorry for your loss. I'm not sure that it's a tragedy when an elderly person dies but losing a parent at any age is devastating.

It's a great loss for you and your family - but I'm not sure I'd describe it as tragic. It's a death that has followed the natural order (albeit possibly a few years too early), but your grandmother has left no-one dependent on her (an assumption - apologies if wrong) - even though she has left people who will miss her terribly.

I have friends who have died leaving very young children, and friends who have lost young children & those are the deaths that I would describe as tragic. Not in a competitive - their grief is worth more - way but because they cause such havoc and there is nothing worse to my mind than seeing a mother bury their child. It's out of order and is a life cut many decades too short. Children are left behind who may grow up not remembering a parent, or remembering them but not having their input.

Death not being a tragedy doesn't mean you shouldn't grieve or feel the loss, but I do personally think there is comfort to be taken in someone having a whole life to look back on. At least I've always found that to be the case.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 13-Jan-14 10:10:00

When I was 18 I attended two funerals in a week.

One was the funeral of my grandfather, who died at the not very old age of 71.

He died younger than he should have, but he had still had a reasonably long, successful and fulfilling life.

His children were devastated. His older grandchildren too. The smaller grandchildren were oblivious, but having them there made everyone smile and see that life went on.

A couple of days later I went to the funeral of a friend from primary school.

She had cancer all through her teens and died in her first year of college. Making it to college before she died had been an ambition of hers sad

At her funeral there could be no "a full life, well lived", there were no children or grandchildren to remember her years after she was gone. There were her utterly, utterly devastated parents and twin sister.

I shook my other friend, the twin of the deceased, by the hand and told her how sorry I was and I am haunted to this day by the look of complete emptiness in her eyes.

There was NOTHING, not a single happy thing to take away from her death. It was just completely awful, a young girl whose life had barely started dying of an awful illness.

It was way, WAY more sad than my grandfather's death. He had 70 years to make his impact on the world. She barely reached adulthood.

I lost my 95 year old Granny last year and I really miss her and am very sad at her loss.

But she was going to die at some point, she was very luck to live a long, happy and health life.

I think there is something kind of fucked up about trying to compare a death in old age like that to an awful early death.

Slubberdegullion Mon 13-Jan-14 10:10:02

I'm sorry for your loss highho1, and for all those on the thread who are bereaved or who are facing the death of a loved one.

It's always difficult I think discussing death and the feelings associated with loss and bereavement on an Internet forum. Words on a screen in this capacity often seem to run the risk of causing more hurt. When you are physically with someone who is grieving often the silences and your physical response to that person can convey so much more than what is actually said.

Unfortunately posting about grief in the AIBU topic is likely to bring out possibly the wrong sort of response to your very valid question OP. Because posters are already set up to provide you with a yes or no response, and some people fail to engage fingers before brain and realise that they need to tailor their response to by sympathetic and kind.

My opinion is that there is no right or wrong response to your question. Sometimes language, words, don't go far enough to explain the sensation of grief. How can they? I'm studying death and dying at the moment and this quote from my text book really hit me when I read this thread. "it is impossible for a person to fully communicate the experience of suffering in words. It is therefore impossible for a listener to understand"

highho, if your you tragic is a word that helps you to communicate your experience of the death of your mother then that is right for you. For others who have gone through similar it might not be, and that's OK too.

Slubberdegullion Mon 13-Jan-14 10:15:43

From a personal pov my father died last year after living with MS for over 20 years. His death was expected and he died a good death. For me, although the grief and loss were overwhelming at times and painful it was not a tragic death. MS was the tragedy in his life.
My mother, who is 70 is fit, well and extremely active. She has been released from the burden of caring for my father and has now started to really live her life again. If she died unexpectedly now I think yes, yes that might feel like a tragedy.

wishful75 Mon 13-Jan-14 10:20:04

Im sorry for your loss and it must be heartbreaking for you and your family.

however, I dont believe it can be described as tragic and I agree with posters like minmooch who my heart just goes out to. My very healthy and fit brother died very suddenly in his mid twenties only a week after my father died, again out of the blue. My darling dad was only 60 and fit and healthy too but despite missing him like hell I would never think of his death as tragic.He got to live a full life, got married and had children (never got to see any grandchildren)

My brother however never got to get married, have children and was really just starting to make his mark in life. I cry for him everyday despite it being years later as I feel so cheated for him. To me tragic is a word to describe the death of a young person or perhaps those who die at the hands of another or from a horrific accident. Whilst grief is a personal thing I honestly dont believe people can really understand what it is like unless you have been through it in these circumstances.

So no, whilst awful for those involved I would never describe the death from natural causes of an elderly person as tragic. Truth be told the use of that word in that type of situation makes me cringe.

fluffyraggies Mon 13-Jan-14 10:20:43

I don't know the thread you mentioned OP. Is there a debate about what age it becomes a 'tragedy'? Very emotive - and open to lots of interpretation. Language is like that.

I agree that something can be a personal tragedy - to you - like the death of your mother, OP flowers, but that same event may not be viewed generally as an example of something 'tragic' by the majority.

The poster above mentioned going to 2 funerals within days of each other. Same experience here. I went to the funeral of a man in his 80s, then days later to the funeral of our niece - 18 months sad sad sad Totally different sentiments at the 2 gatherings.

MrsGoslingWannabe Mon 13-Jan-14 10:23:48

My grandad died last summer aged 93. He was mistakenly prescribed penicillin to which he is allergic and this made him ill and gave him WW2 flashbacks. He had a heart attack a few weeks later after being hospitalized and then put in a home for respite. I expected him to be around for a few more years and was devastated that this silly mistake had taken him away from us before time. It still upsets me now 6 months on.

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 13-Jan-14 10:30:41

"I expected him to be around for a few more years and was devastated that this silly mistake had taken him away from us before time. It still upsets me now 6 months on."

I'm not surprised, that's really awful sad

I expected my Granny to live until 100, she was very well (for a 95 year old) and died very suddenly. So I did feel a little bit robbed.

But she just died suddenly because her body was old and frail.

That's very different from a preventable death that happened because of an error like that. It must be very difficult to come to terms with, particularly because it caused him so much distress.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

WhenWhyWhere Mon 13-Jan-14 11:01:37

This thread is highlighting why it's a good idea to not say too much to people who are bereaved. I just say something heartfelt but simple, something along the lines that it is terribly sad news, that I am thinking of them, that X will be missed. etc etc.
I don't ever say I understand their grief, that the deceased had a good innings and I certainly never mention someone else who has died. I offer practical help if its applicable and tell people to let me know if they want to chat. I really try to follow people's leads as to what they want but it is difficult.

If you say much more you are at risk of saying the wrong thing. sad.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 13-Jan-14 11:07:48

My friend lost her DH (in a tragic accident at a young age) - a shopkeeper said he knew exactly how she felt.
Really? she said.
I lost my Dog a few months back, he said.
Yeah, I suppose it was a tragedy to him. Hmm.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 13-Jan-14 11:08:35

That was in agreement with WhenWhyWhere.

kilmuir Mon 13-Jan-14 11:08:54

I don't think its a tragic loss no. Sad but not tragic

LostMummysGirl Mon 13-Jan-14 11:21:28

I've namechanged for this because I am ashamed of my own feelings and know that they are not appropriate but its how I feel.

When friends lose their mums, in their 70s or 80s I say all the right things to them, try to make sure I'm being supportive but in truth I'm jealous of them.
My mum died in her early 30s, I was only 6. It isn't an understatement to say that her death and the impact it had on my family have deeply affected me and still does now. I have now outlived her sad

She never got to run in the mums race on sports day, never saw me go to secondary school, or to university, never saw me graduate, never met my wonderful husband, never came to my wedding, never saw me pregnant, never held my beautiful children. She was my whole life and then she was gone and my siblings and I had to try to grown up to become the type of people we knew she would want us to be without her there to guide us or love us.

So whilst I feel sympathy when a friend loses an older parent, and I recognise that they may be utterly devastated, I don't see it as tragic.

Not that I have the monoploy on tragedy, a close friend recently lost her 16yo DD and I find that hard to even comprehend how she is coping.

DrunkenDaisy Mon 13-Jan-14 11:22:14

I work in a Children's hospital so perhaps I'm more conditioned to the realities of life, but it has never occurred to me to think of anyone's death over the age of 70 as a tragedy. It's what we should expect should happen. Anything else is a gift. 1 in 3 people over the age of 60 actually have cancer, it's just most people never get to find out.

KittensoftPuppydog Mon 13-Jan-14 11:42:26

compo - my point is that grief isn't logical. My father died relatively young, and for some reason I didn't really grieve. My mother died when she was 90 and I went into meltdown.

soverylucky Mon 13-Jan-14 11:57:10

lostmummysgirl So well put. No words really. xxxx thanks

LostMummysGirl Mon 13-Jan-14 12:50:15

Thanks, tbh I'm very ashamed of feeling jealous of others. I just feel envious of all the years they did have with their mum's.

CiderBomb Mon 13-Jan-14 12:52:59

My grandmother died at 84 and although it was sad I never really felt it was tragic. She'd suffered with ill health for many, many years and had done well to live as long as she did. When she passed we celebrated her life, and didn't really mourn. We've lost several family members at young ages, and these deaths really were horrible tragic. But my grandmother had lived a long and interesting life, she'd over come serious life threatening illnesses, she'd watched all her grand kids grow up. Even seen some of us have DC's of her own.

I wouldn't ever tell someone else how they should grieve a loved one, but I don't really think the natural death of an elderly person is tragic. IMO anyway.

I think the manner of death (ie, accident, violent death, negligence) can be tragic at any age. But the mere fact of dying from natural illness at the age of 85, I don't think is tragic.

Bowlersarm Mon 13-Jan-14 12:57:31

I'm sorry for your loss OP.

But no, I don't think an older persons death is tragic. Terribly sad for you and your family though.

LadyBeagleEyes Mon 13-Jan-14 13:01:03

I think you should have just posted on the other thread Op.
Exactly the same debate going on.

babybarrister Mon 13-Jan-14 13:03:08

sorry but I agree with Pumpkin Positive - the manner might be tragic but given we all die and that 85 is an average age for a woman, her death is not tragic in itself

I am very sorry for your loss though

ThisLittlePiggyStayedHome Mon 13-Jan-14 13:17:59

I'm sorry for your loss, OP. My parents have both died and I miss them every day.

There are two questions really, one about how sad you feel and one about the language you use to describe it. How sad you feel, how much of a loss your mum is to you, is entirely personal and for nobody else to judge or compare or minimise.

But words are supposed to mean things, and speaking purely on the language issue, I do find that words like "tragedy" get cheapened and become meaningless when they're used to describe events that "very sad" would do for.

I would describe the death of an elderly person by natural causes or accident related to age as "very sad", the death of a child or teenager as "devastating" and certainly a personal tragedy for the individual and his/her family, and the death of many people in a violent atrocity or a large-scale natural disaster, as "a tragedy."

If the death of anyone, at any age and from any cause is considered "a tragedy", then it becomes about things being more tragic or less tragic or beyond tragic. What's the point of that? Tragedy isn't the only word.

BlueStones Mon 13-Jan-14 13:26:54

I must say I also think that the death of someone elderly, who has lived a full life, is difficult to think of as "tragic". OP, my grandfather died suddenly after falling off a roof. He was 79. It was very shocking, and I wished he'd died in his sleep, or something. But (to me) it wasn't a tragedy, in the sense that a child dying in the same way would be.

BlueStones Mon 13-Jan-14 13:28:33

Sorry, to clarify, he didn't die because he fell. He had an attack and died on the roof, then fell.

Happydaze77 Mon 13-Jan-14 13:29:50

I totally agree with you lostmummysgirl (and can relate personally to your circumstances).

JoinYourPlayfellows Mon 13-Jan-14 13:39:27

"I think the manner of death (ie, accident, violent death, negligence) can be tragic at any age. But the mere fact of dying from natural illness at the age of 85, I don't think is tragic."

I agree with ThisLittle about the overuse of the word "tragic" as though it was the only word that could be used to describe something sad or awful.

However, I agree that the manner of death matters - a death by violence, murder, car accident, medical negligence (or whatever) is just as awful no matter what the age of a the person who dies.

It's not at all OK to say "well, they had a good innings" about an 90 year old who is knocked down by a drink driver. It's no less awful when an elderly person is murdered than when a child is murdered.

But if someone reaches the grand age of 90 and then dies of an illness (aka "natural causes") then it's just what is to be expected and although the people who love them will miss them, it's just part of the natural order of things.

Very sad.

Not tragic, though.

Slubberdegullion Mon 13-Jan-14 13:50:20

ThisLittlePiggy, I think your post is really interesting. It's made me stop and think for a bit.

Do you think that what a lot of people do? Put the grief experience of someone else into a hierarchy if you like of more or less that what they themselves have experienced. Reading this thread and the other thread in AIBU about grief and bereavement it has come up a lot. As you say 'What's the point of that?'. I wonder if it just one of the perfectly natural things we do as an internal mechanism for coping with our own grief.

As you say tragedy isn't the only word, I would agree with you, but for some people using that word might feel right for them, it might be one of the only words they can think of or use to convey how they are feeling. I'm not sure how then the reaction (hopefully unspoken if you were actually with that person face to face) of "that's not the right word for your experience" would be helpful for them?
I think it's perfectly natural and OK to think 'for me, your experience, your grief isn't or wasn't or wouldn't be tragic' but at the same time acknowledging for them that is is, regardless of the circumstances or age of the person who has died.

Latara Mon 13-Jan-14 13:57:07

I think that the circumstances of a death can be what makes it tragic.
I've seen a lot of people die in their 80s (as a nurse) but some deaths seemed part of a natural progression whereas others were sudden, unexpected and unpleasant deaths with no chance for the family to say goodbye. That's when dying can be described as 'tragic' IMO whatever the age.
It sounds as if your Mum's death is what I would call 'tragic' because it was quite sudden and unexpected.

Also yes, I'd say people dying when they are younger than 75 or so is tragic because it's ''before their time''.

kerala Mon 13-Jan-14 14:02:02

Tunnocks. Don't know what to say. Agree with the consensus it's very sad when a good person dies but tragic when they are younger there's no comparison.

My lovely grandmother didn't shed a tear when her beloved husband died at 84 and even played the organ at his funeral. She felt herself to be very fortunate as her own father had died at 42 leaving her mother with 5 under twelve. Pre welfare state he was a minister so they lost their home. She felt blessed to have had my grandfather for such a long happy marriage and even said how dare I complain after what my mother had to deal with (different generational attitudes though)

Tragic to you maybe but no, not a tragedy.

I lost my mum 3 years ago at the age of 72...to me this was too young and I am totally heartbroken about it but she was getting older and had numerous health problems and in the end she looked forward to being out of her misery.

My BIL died last April at the age of 42, now to me that is a lot more tragic than the death of my mum because he was so young.

Sorry for your loss though, it's terrible to lose a parent at any age x

Latara Mon 13-Jan-14 14:07:23

What I was trying to say is it's often the manner of dying that can be tragic.

For example an 80 year old dying of pneumonia after suffering illness such as cancer or dementia for a while isn't tragic because it's natural and often age-related but it is very sad and upsetting for the family.

An 80 year old getting hit by a car or committing suicide is tragic because it's a sudden horrible shock and not expected.

A young person dying is always tragic because they've not had time to 'live their life fully'. I include middle-aged people in that.

everlong Mon 13-Jan-14 14:08:13

I'm sorry for your loss OP.

I think sudden death of someone we love is always shocking.

But no the death of a person in their mid eighties isn't tragic, it's very sad and upsetting for those they leave behind but I can't say it's a tragedy.

I would reserve that word for a child dying of cancer, a parent leaving a wife and/or young family to illness or accident, a young person committing suicide etc those examples are tragic.

A person of 85 has lived a life.

I agree Everlong

My BIL committed suicide - now that is tragic, such a waste of a young life.

My mum was 72, in my eyes far too young but bless her heart, she had done a lot of living in those years and was ready to go. It doesn't stop me missing her but it's not tragic.

lljkk Mon 13-Jan-14 14:12:21

I'm not a dictionary but most deaths are not what what I would define as tragic. Sad for loved ones, but sadness != tragedy, they're different.

Sorry for your loss.

JeanSeberg Mon 13-Jan-14 14:13:36

There seems to be a lot of emotion attached to the word tragic, so much so that it's lost its meaning. According to the OED:

an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe

Terribly sad or extremely upsetting would be more appropriate to describe a lot of the bereavements above.

Sorry but my parents being killed when I was a teenager is tragic, my life was ruined, my MIL dying surrounded by her family, children and grandchildren in peace and comfort was truly devastating but absolutely not tragic.

Being absolutely devastated and floored when someone you love so much dies is natural, but does not make it a tragedy.

I feel the same as LostMummy.

Latara Mon 13-Jan-14 14:14:42

The deaths I find most tragic of older people are actually the ones where the person is alone in life - that's very sad. Or where they were having 'a new start' in life and suddenly have died.

For example my 63-year-old neighbour was a carer for her elderly mother for years and never had any time for herself.
Then her mother had to go into a home and suddenly my neighbour was free to join university, write a book, work and start to enjoy life for herself.

Literally months later she got cancer and died very quickly in lots of pain.

I found that tragic because at 63 she had only just started enjoying life for herself and had another 20 years of potential good health ahead of her.

Fakebook Mon 13-Jan-14 14:23:40

I'm sorry for your loss.

I think having an elderly parent die is sad, as they've brought you up and you can never prepare for a parent's death. But at the age of 85 the parent has had a long life and you should be happy they managed to live a fulfilled life and at least had the chance to enjoy her children's accomplishments and the grandchildren she knew.

My mum died aged 52 and never got to hold her first grandchild who was born 2 weeks before her death. That was tragic.

manicinsomniac Mon 13-Jan-14 14:26:01

I don't know if you can really describe the loss of any one individual, regardless of who they are or how old they are, as tragic.

It's hard though and really relative.

My Dad died when I was 22 and I went through a phase of feeling really dismissive towards colleagues and friends who were losing parents in their 70s+. I just felt 'well yeah, I get that it's sad but they're at the age you expect people to die, you got their full lifetime with them, why are you so upset? You don't know how lucky you are!' Luckily I managed not to show it and if anything the guilt of feeling it made me even nicer to them.

Since then, I have had 4 children in various classes I've had (I'm a teacher) who have lost either their mum or their dad when they were 13, 11, 11 and 7. So I then found I was thinking along the lines of 'what am I feeling hard done about? I had 22 years with my Dad, he got to see my graduate and I had an adult relationship with him. I don't know how lucky I am.'

So yes, it's all relative isn't it. But I don't know if any of it is truly tragic.

StripyPenguin Mon 13-Jan-14 14:29:18

On a large scale, no it is not tragic. However, on a personal level, the loss of somebody so close to you is tragic for you and I don't think anybody should belittle that. Only you know how tragic and I don't think YABU because, for many people, their mother is still a central figure in their life.
My parents live 10 minutes away and we see them several times a week, they are very much involved with the DCs and when they die I will find it personally tragic even though it's not significant on a larger scale.
Sorry for your loss.

CiderBomb Mon 13-Jan-14 14:30:47

How sad OneStepCloser. I'm sorry to hear that thanks

I've lost several family members to cancer. All of them were in their 40's and 50's at the time, not spring chickens, but certainly far too young to die. One of my cousins died in accident whilst still a child. I find this horribly tragic and sad, never got to grow up, finish school, get a job, get married, have children. Nothing.

Slubberdegullion Mon 13-Jan-14 15:46:42

Latara I am nodding at your posts. I think the quality of someone's death, and the timing of it, basically factors which either contribute or take away from that person experiencing a good death can absolutely influence whether it could be deemed as tragic or not, regardless of their age.

insummeritrains Mon 13-Jan-14 15:57:18

Yes, it is tragic. Yes, your DM lived to be 85 but she was your mother and it is sad that she never got to meet her grandchild.
Nothing annoys me more than when older people die and you get random comments thrown at you such as 'they had a good innings' etc.
It doesn't matter how old someone is, especially if you know they could have had a little longer.
The loss of a parent, if you are close to them, is one of the most devastating imaginable.

AllBoxedUp Mon 13-Jan-14 16:15:22

I think things can be very sad and devastating without being tragic. I also don't think tragic deaths are defined by age - some of the care home cases of neglect have been truly tragic. I'm sorry for your loss OP. Presumably age was a contributing factor to the fall? Essentially dying of old age isn't tragic. It must be very sad that she won't be around to meet her youngest grandchild but that doesn't make it tragic.
I think it was mentioned on the other thread but it does seem that suffering an early bereavement may make you less empathetic. I know it's not a competition but my mum died when I was 5 in a car crash and I wish she could have seen so many things in mine and my brother's lives. I think I feel more prepared for the eventual death of my father as I've almost been waiting for it my whole life but who knows how I will feel when it happens.
I hope these comments are not hurtful to anyone.

everlong Mon 13-Jan-14 16:45:08

I think when someone has had a long life it's easier to come to term with their loss. They have lived. People in old age are expected to die. It's the order of things.

Of course it's sad. Of course we miss them.

But it's life. Not the same as burying a child. That is not the order of what should happen. And why bereaved parents find it virtually impossible to get over it.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 13-Jan-14 16:48:09

I don't think suffering an early bereavement makes you any less empathic. It can make you retain a sense of proportion.

Bootycall Mon 13-Jan-14 17:01:00

everlong agree absolutely.

it's the order of things that makes a death so much more dreadful.

no parent ever should have to bury their child.

sorry for your loss op and for your family of course a tragedy but it is far more tragic and heartbreaking when a child or a younger person dies never having the chance to enjoy any sort of life.

there is only one sure thing in life and that's death and to come at 10 is far far more dreadful than to come at 80.

BlingBang Mon 13-Jan-14 17:01:01

I think a sense of proportion is important. I think thinking that this is how it should be and a person living a long and hopefully well lived, well loved life helps you deal with the grief. That is as good as it gets in life. To think differently and want to think of it as tragic seems to be saying your loss and grief is in a different league to that of others.

Hulababy Mon 13-Jan-14 17:02:58

Definition:
- an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe
- very sad; especially involving grief or death or destruction
- dreadful, calamitous, disastrous, or fatal

It isn't a competition.
If someones death causes you suffering, upset and distress then yes, it is tragic for you and those involved.
But then as most of my family appear to have naturally longer lives than might be avergae - all grandparents well into 80s now - then a death in late 70s or 80s would seem very premature for our family.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Mon 13-Jan-14 17:03:58

It is hard though

Bloody human condition. sad

Slubberdegullion Mon 13-Jan-14 17:08:15

I agree with you everlong. It is the natural order of things. Knowing your father, mother, grandparent had a full life does I'm sure make the grieving process easier, for some.
However for some, the circumstances surrounding even a very elderly person's death may be tragic. Likewise for some people, like the OP the loss of someone they love may be perceived a tragedy. For them using the word tragedy is a means of conveying the strength of their emotions. It might not be the right word for you, but for them it is. I think when people talk about death and grief it's OK for them to be able to choose the language that they think describes best how they are feeling.

SamU2 Mon 13-Jan-14 17:09:12

If you think it is tragic then it is to you. Although I personally wouldn't describe it as such.

My ex husband died at aged 39 (4 weeks ago)leaving three of my children behind and that is tragic. Tragic for my three children and his parents.

People may not find it tragic as he died after a 4 year battle of cancer, but my children find it tragic.

I think someone dying at 85 is very lucky, they lead a long life and we all have to die sometime.

I am sorry for your loss.

Mintyy Mon 13-Jan-14 17:13:38

I am not a hard or unfeeling person in any way, but I am quite pedantic and I do think "tragic" is the wrong word to apply to the death of a person aged 85. In general, I would argue that there are better words to use but, as Slubber says so eloquently, you are entitled to use whatever language you like regarding the death of a loved one.

Bootycall Mon 13-Jan-14 18:03:41

Samu2 so very sorry for you all.

NotGoingOut17 Mon 13-Jan-14 18:17:47

I think it's very sad and obviously there is a huge sense of loss but I don't think it's tragic. My perspective is in the last 6 months my own Mum has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer at age 56 - this came like a bolt from the blue, she hasn't been suffering with it from some time, simply had displayed some symptoms (initially thought to be minor) and after much investigation was told it was a rare form of cancer and that it can't be treated other than through palliative care. We don't think she has much longer than a year left although it's any body's guess and she is doing okay for the time being, every day is a blessing, and every milestone is an achievement - and she'll make her 57th birthday which last summer I didn't think she would.

It's all relative in that I wouldn't say my Mum's impending early death is tragic; in some ways I am grateful for the time we have had together (I'm late 20s) but I also feel a huge sense of unfairness in that she will never see me get married and never meet my children and despite working all her life and only recently retired will never get to enjoy her retirement and has spent (what little time she has had of it) in and out of hospital. As i don't have any children myself I think it is something I feel quite deeply because she is still my immediate family (although I moved out of the family home in my early 20s), there is no one more important to me than my parents as i don't have a spouse (although have a boyfriend of 18 months) or children. I also feel that this will be a life changing event for me, I can't see it not having an impact on how I live my life and it has all consumed my last few months - this may have been different had she lived well into her 80s and I was older when she passed. Somewhat obsessively I have worked out that I only need to live to 58 myself (which I hope I do) and my Mum has been in less than half my life which is something I find hard to deal with - how someone who has been there for me my entire life will just disappear and how if I live a long life myself I could spend 50 years without them and I worry that i'll forget her (I know i won't but have thought it in my darkest moments).

I think it's particularly hard because I feel like i am all alone in that people don't expect to lose parents when they are in their 20s so with one exception none of my friends can relate to me.

I don't want to diminish anyone's grief, grief is terrible regardless of someone's age and I dont believe the loss is any less but my overall feeling is that if someone dies at 82 there must be more blessings than there are things you feel cheated out of whereas if someone dies at 30 it's probably the reverse. I recognise that my situation is somewhere in the middle, and i try and focus on the blessings and the times we did have but sometimes the times we won't will win over my thoughts.

The one friend who knows my situation has lost both their parents within 5 years of each other - both in their 50s/early 60s and they have parentless at age 28. To them I feel lucky that I have one healthy parent and one with whom I hope to spend loving as much as possible but as much as I don't mean to offend I can't help but think that if my Mum lived to 82 I would feel so lucky. I know death of loved ones always come too soon but it would buy us another 26 years - which for now, feels like a very very long time (infact almost twice as long I have lived).

I do wish you all the best though, your Mum is your Mum and death is never easy.

everlong Mon 13-Jan-14 18:26:11

Yes you're right slubber ( nice to see you btw ) that each person who has lost someone they love has the right to use whatever way like to express how they feel.

It doesn't alter the way other people feel about such expression though.

As I said on this thread or it could have been the other one that having lost a mother when I was 4 and a child when he was 20 I have become slightly hardened to people who have lost an elderly relative. I know this isn't right and I that I don't have the monopoly on grief but it's how I feel.

sykadelic15 Mon 13-Jan-14 18:27:14

Again, the definition of tragic is: "causing or characterized by extreme distress or sorrow."

If the OP or anyone else feels "extreme distress or sorrow" then it IS the very definition of tragic to them. What you or I think is irrelevant. They feel how they feel.

Mintyy Mon 13-Jan-14 18:27:44

Very moving post NotGoingOut flowers. I am not much younger than your mum ... it must be so very hard for you all.

Meanwhile, my mother is 82 and getting older and frailer in herself all the time. Her older brother is 87 and in poor health. Her friends and relatives are becoming ill and dying and I don't think she is enjoying her old age sad right now. But she does keep reiterating that they have all been lucky to live so long (especially as they all smoked heavily for 50 years or so) and she counts her blessings.

Death in old age is sad but unavoidable, tbh.

AnnabelleLee Mon 13-Jan-14 18:30:07

Its not a word I would use, but its up to you what you want to call it.
Since your mother was 35 years older than mine was at their deaths, I would personally consider her to have had a long life, and everyone dies, its just a matter of when.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 13-Jan-14 18:32:32

I personally would not call the death of an 85 year old tragic . It is said but inevitable, we are not meant to live for ever. THe death of a child before its parent is tragic.

WhenWhyWhere Mon 13-Jan-14 18:42:29

The Oxford English Dictionary gives a different definition, one that is more in line with what I believe it means.

noun (plural tragedies)
1 an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe:
a tragedy that killed 95 people
[mass noun]:
his life had been plagued by tragedy

It goes on to give the definition of a tragedy - a play with tragic events

lljkk Mon 13-Jan-14 19:16:37

Tragedy is not just when, but how.
This is not a comment about OP's situation or how she should feel.

Only I wanted to say that I am relieved that my mother died suddenly (heart attack age 63). She should have had a longer innings, I didn't get to say goodbye, I wish we could have had a better relationship. BUT she was terrified of a long drawn out illness leading to death, especially cancer. In many ways she had a good death, with only brief pain & fear. I'm grateful for that. Was anything but a tragedy.

Slubberdegullion Mon 13-Jan-14 19:20:53

Nice to see you too everlong (and Mintyy). And yes of course, your personal feelings about the use of the word are entirely understandable. Grief is so subjective and so personal the reactions we have to it, and the language we use to express it can often cause surprise, displeasure and yes even anger in other people.
I think that partly comes down to death becoming more and more hidden in our culture, despite it affecting everyone at some point in their lives. So few people die at home now, it has become such a medicalised event that once would have been owned by not just the family of the dying person but also by their community. People are often literally at a loss for words as to what to say when they meet someone who is either dying themselves, living with someone who is dying, or who is bereaved. It's like we've lost the craft of how to live with death. So people use words or phrases that feel like the best fit, for what often is indescribable, but might sound and feel trite or crass for someone else who has an altogether different experience of grief.
I also think, and well actually know from experience, that people often drip feed for want of a better word their experience of grief. They are testing the waters to see if the person they are talking to will listen and be sympathetic. I think it's actually pretty brave of the OP, and everyone else who has shared their stories on this thread to open up on an Internet forum and in AIBU to boot. You make yourself vulnerable talking about grief and often people might start small with "it's a tragedy" to see how others respond to that. There might often be quite a lot more to the story behind that statement that after listening completely validates their sentiment that a particular death is tragic. Again I personally do not believe you can draw a line in the sand and say 'over this age, a death isn't tragic'. We as a society start getting into dangerous waters surrounding the issues of care for our elderly and access to (heavily rationed) palliative care services.

eggsandwich Mon 13-Jan-14 19:23:06

I totally understand where your coming from, my mum died at 55 and missed my wedding and the birth of both my children, and my father also died 9 months before my wedding so couldn't give me away, life sucks some times feel really sad for my children not knowing their other grandparents.

Beachcombergirl Mon 13-Jan-14 19:32:19

Sending hugs and condolences. My Dad died following a horrible illness in his late 70's 2 years ago and My darling Mum died very suddenly in her early 70's last year when my dd was 3 months old. I'm currently pregnant again as terribly sad they will never meet the new baby. I hate it when people say they got to a good age. It is irrelevant in the wake of your loss. Take your time to grieve and cry when you need to. Look after yourself. Xxx

highho1 Tue 14-Jan-14 17:49:16

Sorry not been on for a few days. Not had a chance to read responses but thank you and sorry to others experiencing the loss of a loved one. X

highho1 Wed 15-Jan-14 12:11:03

It is weird. I lost my dad several years earlier at aged 70. He was ill for a long time and quite frankly had had enough of life. So in the scheme of things his loss should have been more tragic as he never saw me get married or to see my children. However, as he was ready to go and we had time to prepare it seemed easier.
My mum on the other hand still loved life and was really afraid to die. The death was sudden and we never really had a chance to say goodbye. I had a 200 mile drive in the night to see her on life support and than watch them turn life support off.
Even the loss of my sister in her 50's didn't have such an impact.
Although obviously I do get that the loss of a child or person with young dependents is more tragic on both a personal and global level.

OP, I'm sorry for your loss, and it's obviously devastating for you - for that reason I was reluctant to reply, but I really don't think you can call it 'tragic'.

Stillbirths; deaths of children; parents who leave behind small children; long, painful deaths at any age; war; starvation; displacement; torture; lives lived with severe physical or emotional trauma; old people dying alone and not being found for 3 months ...

I might call these things tragic, but not the sudden death of an 85-year old.

nf1morethanjustlumpsandbumps Wed 15-Jan-14 13:00:11

Death of a parent at whatever age is a tragedy to THAT family. So sorry for your loss it's been 20 years since I lost my father, his loss was not a tragedy to the rest of the world but was and always will be to me for everything I lost.

Fancyashandy Wed 15-Jan-14 22:34:34

In your view it is a tragedy, you don't speak for everyone. I prefer not to use that terminology to describe the death of my mum. It was bad enough, i known how bad it was. I choose not to make it more dramatic than it was. It makes it sound like I think my experience and grief was bigger and worse than other peoples.

Caitlin17 Wed 15-Jan-14 22:45:24

Fancyashandy and notgoodnotbad I agree. It's semantics I suppose but "tragic" to me means something which is more universally objective. It doesn't diminish the personal grief of the bereaved, but the word doesn't feel right. I wouldn't describe my beloved grandfather's death at 85 as tragic , it doesn't mean I didn't love him and miss him.

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Wed 15-Jan-14 22:51:03

My gran was 91 when she died. She was fit, active, fully compos mentis and a vibrant and interesting lady. She went on the bus to the shops and sat down in the bus stop on the way back and the seat had been vandalised and it dumped her on the ground breaking her hip which hastily led to her death. I felt that was tragic. I wanted to pound the face of the person that sawed the seat in two. If you felt it was tragic, it was.

PowerPants Wed 15-Jan-14 22:58:57

Samu2 - am so sorry. I agree with you.

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