Death and Coping

Out of respect to the families of those affected by the recent tragedy in the USA, this week’s worldview will take a look at how death affects us all and at how it has affected members of the Tribe.

There is no right way to go about business in the aftermath of such brutality but next week we will return to our previous worldview schedule.

We will take a more in-depth look at death and traditions surrounding it at a later date.

THE VIRUS

All the adults died from contracting this man-made virus. The antidote for this was kept top secret and was not discovered until long after the world had changed in ways no one could ever have imagined.

The tribe called the Mall Rats came about when all the individuals came together after the death of the adults. Some had lost not only their parents and grandparents, auntie’s and uncles but also adult brothers, sisters and friends.

These kids all reacted differently to their loss. The older girls like Salene became quite motherly, looking out for the younger ones.

Little kids like Chloe were really scared and insecure, often clinging hopelessly to cuddly toys, the only thing left from their old life.

Some of the guys like Bray became strong leaders whilst others, like Lex, looked for ways to become someone in this New World.

There were natural leaders and followers, followers like Ryan and Ash who just wanted someone else to take responsibility.

There were self-proclaimed leaders like the Zoots and Ebony’s – power crazed. But were they power hungry as a result of insanity, personality or personal loss?

THE NEW WORLD

As wise people say, death is hard for those left behind.

Once everyone had more or less come to terms with their new life, they seemed to choose to get on with things and try not to waste too much time with sentimentality. They were all devastated that they had lost everything that meant something to them but knew that nothing could be done about it.

All the Tribal kids would feel depressed and emotional at times because it is them who were left behind. It is them who have to rebuild the world in their own image, whatever that image may be. Them who have to fight for survival without the support and advice of adults.

The Mall Rats shared their feelings of loss when they felt bad about things and found that talking helped. Talking about what they missed and finding out that others felt the same way. Talking about hopes and fears and dreams.

And finding out that life does go on. It simply has to. There are new friends to make, new people to fall in love with, new relationships to discover and new families to create.

OTHER LOSS

Death still occurs in the world of the Tribe. People still get sick, have accidents and are killed in battle, in the fight for survival. Some women might die in childbirth. If there is not enough food to go around there might be famine. Old diseases like dysentery and typhoid might rear their ugly heads again due to lack of hygiene and clear water.

Polio, mumps and tetanus might start to take effect on the bodies of those who were too young to be immunised in the old world or who have been born in to this new world.
Loss might be felt more than it would have done before the virus took affect due to suppressed feelings. Or the shock that even after all these kids have gone through loved ones can still be taken away from them.

The deaths of Zandra, Dal and the supposed death of Amber hit the Mall Rats like a direct blow to the heart. Even Bob’s death affected the kids badly. The death of Ned shook Alice, Andy and Tally to the very core. Zoot’s death was a shock for Bray and Trudy, even for Ebony in her own way.

TRADITIONS

Traditions have changed over the years and through different cultures and religions.
Some people believe that the body should be cremated, some that it should be buried and some that it should be embalmed. Funerals differ from religion to religion,country to country.Some people like to visit the grave of a loved one. Others keep the ashes in their home as a reminder of the person who has gone.

Some people are devastated because they never find the body of their mother or father, brother or sister, son or daughter friend or relation. These bodies might be lost forever due to boats sinking, planes crashing or natural disaster.

FEELINGS

There is no right way or wrong way to feel about death. The only thing we really have in common is that we will be born and we will die. Some people can deal with death, no matter the nature of it.

Others find that they are in total shock and cannot articulate their feelings, keeping them suppressed. Others who are in shock act in a blasé fashion, pretending they do not care. Some people really do not care. Some people express their emotions by becoming aggressive or anxious. And others go through the natural grieving process.

THE GRIEVING PROCESS

There is a natural process that most people go through when they are faced with life changing situations, including death, which is classed as the most stressful situation someone can go through.

The first feeling tends to be shock. Shock affects different people in different ways but the most common feelings are palpitations, fluttery Œnervous’ stomach, the shakes, and lack of hunger and emotion.

These feelings tend to last for a short time as the body deals with the sudden influx of adrenaline it gives off when put in such a situation. Similar feelings can reappear at any stage during the grieving process.

Disbelief is the next common stage, with the feelings that the world is on an uneven keel, that nothing seems real, that your head is full of cotton wool.

The next stage is often anger. Anger at everyone who hasn’t lost someone. Anger that other people would dare to go on with their lives while your life is a mess. A really passionate onset of tears and frustration.

Emotion creeps up again and then slowly, very slowly comes the realisation and the acceptance that what has happened has actually happened and that life is still going on, the world is still turning and that nothing can change what has happened.

HELP

It is natural for you to go through this grieving process.

But if you continue to suffer from these feelings long-term and they are taking over your life or preventing you from carrying on with your life in a normal way, please seek help.
Similarly if you are experiencing feelings of guilt at being left behind or are feeling suicidal, seek help immediately.

If you do not care about what has happened to you or are not touched by what happened in the world a week ago and are concerned by your lack of feeling, please talk to someone about it.

As we have mentioned, there is no right or wrong way to cope with tragic circumstances but if you are at all worried about your feelings or lack of them, it is important to share your thoughts with someone. Even if all they tell you is that it’s okay and that you are normal it will help.

Seek help from a teacher or councilor, parents, family, friends, support groups or GPs.

 

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