We have all been reading about the sad California story of little 8-year-old Jahi McGrath, who was declared legally dead (no brain-wave activity) after an operation, but whose parents have moved her from the hospital to an undisclosed location and have insisted that she is not dead, and that she will be kept “alive” by a feeding tube and respirator.
Who can not be moved to tears by this tragedy? Who can not sympathize with these parents, who expected that she would come out of the operation alive and physically healthier. But she didn’t. What an awful experience for them and their family.
And yet, we do wonder, why these parents refuse to accept the medical decision? Actually, the answer is simple: they don’t want to lose their dear Jahi, and they will do everything they can to keep her alive.
There are three gates through which mourners must walk in order to recover and move forward:
1. Accept the death of your loved one. This means, in this case, to accept the reality and finality that Jahi is truly gone, that she has left us her memories and life-lessons, but not her physical body. This is the first and for some, the most difficult gate to walk through, and it often leads to anger and blaming and a refusal to accept the inevitable. visit:-happynewyear2022status.com
2. Confront the grief which comes from the death. This gate leads grievers to begin the process of healing, of indeed “laying them gently down” and beginning to see that there can be a future after loss, a future that will be different than the past. The core of this idea is the deep dark secret of grief: she died, I am still alive. Lots of folks have a “survivors guilt” because they are still alive. Nonetheless, living is a good thing, we should honor that life.
3. Embrace your new life, not forgetting about your loved one, but remembering them and moving on in your own life to joy and celebration. This seems far away and impossible for most grievers to even think possible, but with proper counseling and patience, it will happen.
I am afraid that these parents have not been able to begin their grief process, because they still cannot accept the reality of their daughter’s death. While their daughter is still alive, their own lives are now deadened because she isn’t there in the way they would like. Their lives are now “upside down,” and that is not the way they are supposed to be. Sadness walks with them, and so this has not been so far a Happy New Year. We can only hope that by next January, they will be able to grieve Jahi’s death, move “from mourning to morning,” and be able to wish themselves and us a Happy New Year.