The story “The End of Life as she knew it” is about a lady, Joan Didion who suffered a devastating peril involving her family on the Christmas day of 2003. Her problems began on that fateful Christmas day when her daughter Quintana who had suffered flulike symptoms was booked to the emergency room at Beth Israel North Hospital in the city of New York. The untimely attack of Pneumonia and septic shock sent her to the intensive care unit and had her booked up to a respirator.
Five days later and before she could even show signs of recovery, Ms Didion’s husband, John Gregory Dunne, slumped over and fell to the floor while having dinner in their Manhattan apartment. This marked his death with doctors declaring a massive heart attack as the trigger of his instant death. What Quintana used to call “The Brocken Man” in reference to fear, death and the unknown had come for her father and was as well waiting for her in the I.C.U. These two untimely and terrific events marked the beginning of life in denial of Ms Didion where she spent more of her time trying to come to terms with what had happened on that terrible December. Sometimes she would even put off finishing an article thinking that without his husband she would have no one to read it leave a lone the many times she tried to de link the chain of causation that had led to the tragic events. Two days after the sequential tragedies Ms Didion wrote “Life changes. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.” indicating that she could not comprehend how death had taken away his joy in such a short time.
One of the main aspects of this story is grief due to not only sickness but also death. Grief is the normal internal reactions one experiences in reaction to a loss. Having her daughter in the I.C.U was the turning point of Ms. Didion. She only described these using three words, “Life changes fast.” Like any other person who had a family member in hospital she began seeing ordinary life turning into a nightmare. The concern of Ms. Didion over her daughter’s health is seen when she began researching the doctor’s findings in a bid to learn the fundamental questions to ask Quintana’s doctors.
With regards to Dunne’s death, it is clear that coping with loss especially the definitive and irreversible loss of death is quite a huge task. Ms. Didion found it so hard to forget about his her husband Dunne whom she had spent most of her entire marriage with writing about themselves, their nervous breakdown, glittering worlds they had inhabited as well as screen plays they had worked on together. It is also clear that when it comes to irreversible loss, looking back and appreciating the good times can rarely be helpful at all. She tried to suppress her memories with Mr. Dunne but they still continually bobbed to the surface of her mind creating a memory vortex that served to remind her of her lost joy. In a bid to erase the old memories she even desperately tried to avoid places that she would associate with her husband. However, Ms. Didion’s struggles against the painful emotions is a clear indication that despite loss always being painful, we have some little control over how much we suffer.
The general characteristics of humanity are also portrayed and are a great aspect in this story. The behavior of individuals (and different creatures or even components) falls inside an extent with some conduct being normal, some uncommon, some worthy, and some outside satisfactory cutoff points. In social science, conduct in general is characterized as having no importance, being not regulated at other individuals, and hence is the most fundamental human activity. Behavior in this general sense ought not to be mixed up with social conduct, which is a more progressive activity, as social conduct is conduct particularly steered at other individuals. The worthiness of conduct depends intensely upon social standards and is directed by different method of social control. One of these characteristics is that of living life in denial. A life of denial is one of the potential negative effects of a grief reaction.
Bereaved individuals who feel that the death of their loved ones was unfair, unexpected and untimely are usually at a greater risk of leaving a life in denial leave alone suffering from major depression and post traumatic stress disorder. Avoiding places that she would associate with her husband’s death or her daughter’s illness is one factor that shows that Ms. Didion lived a life in denial. She queried doctors attending to her daughter with much hope that they would restore her daughter’s health leave alone reading everything from Emily Post on funeral etiquette. Her life in denial was heightened when she began thinking like a toddler that perhaps her thoughts or wishes had the power to reverse the twin calamities. This was coupled with the authorization of an autopsy on her husband.
The article "The End of Life As She Knew It" was about an assessment on life and how rapidly it can change; it might be better or it could be for the more regrettable. One of the things that Michiko expressed and that was arresting all around the whole content was, "Life changes in the moment. You take a seat to supper and life as you know it closes." When I first read that I saw reality behind it, on the other hand, I feel like a large portion of us don't take a gander at life in that way. Something else that I truly considered while perusing this content is the way she said about how individuals attempt to comprehend the senseless. We all do it on occasion. Attempting to resolve why something happened and what was the truly underlying reason for everything. For being such a short article it truly made me consider profound themes. For example considering how I might respond assuming that I was ever in the circumstances Joan Didions was.
Michiko Kakutani, The End Of Life As She Knew It The New York Times October 5 2005 http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/04/books/04kaku.html?pagewanted=print&_r=0