By in Relationships

When is a Death a Tragedy?

"It was so tragic. She was so young. Cutoff before she experienced life."

"He was a strapping young man when he died. He was going to get married. He never got to experience the joy of having a family."

Have you ever heard words such as these? Indeed, have you ever experienced such an event? Quite possibly so. And such an occurrence is a true tragedy. Of course, just because a person dies young doesn't mean they were a "good person".

But there is another kind of tragedy.

"Yup, I can't feel bad for Old Joe. He lived a good, long life."

Where is there a tragedy in this? It is the very fact that Old Joe did live a good, long life. How's that?

Over a stretch of many decades, many people came to know Joe and love him. And they built on that love for dozens of years. They came to know him and his thinking in great detail. And the longer Joe lived, the more he loved life.

Yet, some might not think his loss was a tragedy. If you look at it from the perspective of loving interpersonal relationships, shouldn't the loss of a "good" older person be just as precious in our eyes? In fact, if we ourselves are older, we're losing part of our very world.


Image Credit » Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/adult-elderly-face-man-old-person-1852908/

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Comments

MegL wrote on June 17, 2017, 7:05 PM

I suppose because we expect to die some day, we see anything over 70 or 80 as a good long life, good in the terms of length only, of course. Yes, I miss my mother but she was 85 when she died, had osteoporosis and was getting very confused, so maybe it was more of a release for her. As for my father, he was 57 when he died, never got to meet any of his grandchildren, nor got to retire and enjoy some relaxation and photography which was his hobby. It is definitely a tragedy when a young person dies because they miss out on experiences that we ourselves have had and presumably enjoyed or felt enriched by. The older person has had a chance to experience life and it is what they have made of the experiences they have had that makes them a better loved person, perhaps.