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Celebration Of Life
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Celebration Of Life
After tragedy strikes, a period of healing follows. This story tells us of how a woman overcomes two tragic circumstances by focussing on her healing.
[926 words]
Shenielle Aloysis
I am currently a full-time freelance writer and have been writing for about almost two years.
[May 2001]
Her World Of Darkness (Non-Fiction) The power of sight is something we take for granted. But what would you do if it were to be slowly taken away from you? Read this real-life story of a woman and find out. [872 words] [Motivational]
Celebration Of Life
Shenielle Aloysis

Anne, who is in her late 20s, is happily married and has been trying to have baby for quite some time. Finally, after more than five and a half years of marriage, she realised with immense joy that she was pregnant. She and her husband were truly overjoyed and they made it an even bigger celebration when they were informed that she was carrying twins. Her gynaecologist advised that she should have someone with her at all times. She and her husband made the decision that she should stay with her parents for a while, despite the fact that her father was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Still, it was a decision she never once regretted.

Tragedy strikes
Anne recalls that when news of the twins were announced to immediate family members, they were overjoyed. “My father was so overwhelmed y the fact that I was expecting twins that his only comments were ‘No wonder you look so pale – better start eating more! You need have more energy for the twins.”

Anne stayed with her parents for almost two months. But into her ninth week of pregnancy, she started experiencing stabbing pains in her lower abdomen. She began to worry and finally decided to see her gynaecologist. On the day of the visit, she was overtly apprehensive but continued to hope for the best.

The gynaecologist carried out an ultra-sound scan and announced to her horror that there was no heartbeat from the babies! They had died. There were no tears of sorrow from her eyes - she was simply too shocked to cry. But her husband who accompanied her did. She underwent the medical procedure to evacuate the foetus the next day. When she left the doctor’s office, she felt an overwhelming sense of emptiness and inadequacy. She was exhausted and drained both physically and emotionally.

Upon reaching home, Anne said that she was not sure how her father was going to take the news in his frail condition. He was looking forward to being a grandfather. She then decided that she was not going to tell him that the twins were no more.

“I may be selfish, but I wanted my father to enjoy his old age, not bounded by worries – my worries, my fears and my limitations. And so, against my better judgement, I withheld the truth from him. I knew that he would ultimately know what had happened, but I thought I could cross the bridge when I came to it.”

However, Anne said that her father never realised that anything was amiss. When she came home from the hospital, he was his usual self, full of fatherly concern: always telling her to take plenty of food, fruits and the usual.

Tragedy strikes again
But just 10 days later, Anne had to come to terms with another loss. Her father died peacefully in his sleep. After the funeral arrangements were completed, Anne had some time to reflect on the tragic circumstances.

She remembered many of the things her father said to her and two things he wanted most was to see his other son get married and Anne to have children. He often told her: “I just want to see your brother’s wife and know that you are pregnant. That is enough for me.”

On another occasion, her father had said, “Do not ever save anything for a special occasion. Everyday you are alive is a special occasion.” That was his philosophy.

Anne said that those words haunted her through the funeral and the days that followed when she helped attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death. The days after were trying for Anne. She was still feeling the loss of her babies and was struck another blow with the death of her father. Her mother was devastated and she had to provide a comforting shoulder for her as well. For all this, Anne felt that she had to be strong to help her mother cope with the loss.

Even after two months since the tragedies, Anne said that she “still had to grapple with the loss of my babies and my father. No matter what people say, the birth of another child will never replace the ones lost. And whatever the relationship and at whatever age, the loss of a parent is still hard to handle.”

“I still think about my father – his words and how they have changed my life. Now I read more, and pray more. I also spend more time with my family and friends, and less time worrying about things I have not done. I’m not sure what my father would have done had he known that he would not be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I do not think that he would have changed anything, as he died the way he wanted – in the presence of his family.”

The events have changed her outlook in life. To help her cope with the tragedies, she has refocused. Now she says that life should be an experience to savor, not endure and that each moment should be recognised and cherished.

“If there is anything worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now! I an trying very hard not to put it off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that is special. Every day, every minute, every breath, truly is … a gift from God.”

Out of death, Anne has seen a new way to live life.



"I liked the story a lot. It keeps one's attention throughout. Thanks for sharing it." -- Randy Barfield.


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© 2001 Shenielle Aloysis
May 2001

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