Trasi tragedy: Take time out to grieve - In memory of little angels, families

July 21, 2016 (A month since the tragic accident at Trasi)

By Dr Zita Lobo

And ever has it been known that love knows not its own depth
until the hour of separation.
--Khalil Gibran

And when the separation is permanent, it is profound. If then it has come as a bolt from the clear sky, unexpected, it must be inexplicable.

This is what the parents and relatives of the children involved in the school bus tragedy at Trasi must be going through. Accidents happen, lives are lost, but when the loss and damages are cumulative are we as a society ready for this?

Soon after the crash, good Samaritans rushed to help, while they were busy, others, the self appointed news dispensers, not wanting to miss out any action of the tragedy were busy video graphing and relaying the gory, graphic, tragic pictures as if the official description of the tragedy was not enough for the whole region to go down on their knees and ask "Why?", "Why were innocent beautiful lives snatched away in such a disaster?"

Next, the victims rushed to hospitals while the tragic news reached the parents and relatives.

Meanwhile, some lawyers visited the hospitals and volunteered to manage the cases. This is followed by the last rites of the victims who succumbed to the fatal injuries.

For some time thereafter, we analyze the road and transport systems, the corrupt government, the uncompromising discipline of school administrations, driving discipline, parents’ helplessness and then collectively forget the incident as a society. We go on about our business while, the most affected in those tragedies are left to themselves to fathom what just happened to them.

All people don’t grieve in the same manner. Grieving is a personal process. Whether it is the loss of a dear one or coming face to face with the prospects of impending death, people react differently. They try to find answers from theology, karma or any answer they become fatalistic. Some might just be stoic enduring emotional pain without complaining.

Each one has a different grief threshold. Some are used to showing emotion while others keep their tears private. People go through five stages of grief according to Elisabeth Kϋbler Ross. There is no time frame or order by which people mourn. In some countries doctors are specially trained on the awareness of this process of grieving to help patients and their families to cope with bad news. Though they see death and dying on an everyday basis they are not immune tothe feelings and emotions of the people who are under their care.

The five stages of grief and loss are:

1. Denial and Isolation: "No!!", "This cannot happen to me" it is normal to react thus. We try to listen to only what we want to hear. One cannot fathom the reality of the situation and so the mind does not accept the facts.

2. Anger: Primarily, we feel disappointed or distressed at the loss and this is manifested in anger. In this particular case, anger towards the driver who caused the accident or authorities who might be directly or indirectly responsible for the driver to speed up. Anger towards the healthcare providers, especially doctors. Anger itself is an irrational emotionand it can even be directed towards the person who has died. Sometimes it could be diverted at self, and guilt can override sanity and people can inflict pain on self to the extent to even commit suicide.

3. Bargaining: "God, please don’t let this happen, I’ll change my ways".

"If this is not true, I will vow to pay a visit to your shrine" or "Please don’t let this happen to me"
Even the thoughts of "If the kids were sent to another school… another vehicle… What if...
All these come through feelings of helplessness and vulnerability.

4. Depression: Feeling low energy and listlessness is a natural after-effect of losing someone precious in life. Sadness and regret, helplessness, and the realization that one has to live without the person’s presence can catapult the person into being introverted for some time. With support and reassurance and patience people can be helped to come to terms with reality. Empathy and timely assistance can help cope.

5. Acceptance: At this stage a person comes to terms with the loss of the loved one. It is certainly not a happy acceptance but a quiet reconciliation of one’s own mortality or of a dear one’s, as inevitable. Perhaps, the consolation and condolence of well-meaning people could help her or him to accept the inevitable. When death is sudden and tragic some people might never come to this stage and may stop at depression or anger.

The survival instinct in human being gives hope for themselves and for others who depend on them- this hope is what the society should come forward to give the grieving. It is not only for the parish, or nuns or any support group, but any person who can call herself and himself a neighbor could help cope. It is for the family and friends to support and help the survivors of these tragedies. All they need is compassion and time out to grieve.



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Comment on this article

  • Lancy Noronha, Bellore-Bendur-Dubai

    Sun, Jul 31 2016

    ....HAI HAI..HA..HA..HA. HA...

    AND I WILL SING IN MY FORTH COMING Mangalur and Dubai as well.

    No words!!

    Lancy Noronha
    Moga Sagor- Sangeeth Ras

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Meena Serrao Barboza, Tanzania/Shirva

    Thu, Jul 28 2016

    Sincere condolences to the families grieving the immeasurable loss they suffered Condolences. It is the hardest reality. Only God can give peace and courage to the families of these children. Rest in peace little angels.

    DisAgree Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Leena Saldanha, bondel/Mangalore

    Sat, Jul 23 2016

    words of need at the moment

    RIP to little darlings !!!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gurudath, M'lore/Mumbai

    Fri, Jul 22 2016

    Hope the way people drive has changed there. Government must ensure that strict speed limits are enforced. Tragedies like this can happen again.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    I have not see this kids but when I read this article once again I cried. So sad and I do not know how much their family members and friends feel. Almighty God please help us to understand your wish in our life.

    "When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
    When the road you're trudging seems all up hill,
    When the funds are low and the debts are high,
    And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
    When care is pressing you down a bit,
    Rest, if you must - but don't you quit.
    Life is queer with it's twists and turns,
    As every one of us sometimes learns,
    And many a failure turns about,
    When he might have won had he stuck it out,
    Don't give up, though the pace seems slow ..
    You might succeed with another blow.
    Often the goal is nearer than
    It seems to a faint and faltering man.
    Often the struggler has given up,
    When he might have captured the victor's cup,
    And her learned too late, when the night slipped down,
    How close he was to the golden crown.
    Success is failure turned inside out.
    The silver tint to the clouds of doubt -
    And you can never tell how close you are,
    It mat appear when it seems afar
    So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit -
    It when things seem worst that you mustn't quit !

    DisAgree [1] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Thank you, Dr Zita Lobo for your article. Spiritual and psychological support is imported as the days are passing. I suppose also financial support.

    DisAgree Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anu , Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Dear Parents and close relatives of the departed children,
    You have angels in heaven now praying for you.
    What a beautiful article, well written.

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    It is heartbreaking incident. nothing will console parents and the incident will remain forever with them. What required now is plans to avoid such tragedies in future from the authorities and people.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • sri, Karkala

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    I remember few years back similar accident near gurupur and around 7 children died. After that we heard big bashans only. During rainy season for at least for two school timings can be changed from 11am to 3pm so that children get enough time to reach school. Also during heavy rain holidays to be given.

    Believe me now there is no point in grieving. So our future is in our hands. Corrective actions need to be taken thoughtfully.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • sri, Karkala

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Read it as - during rainy season for at least two months...

    DisAgree [5] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • Pius D'Cruz., Belman / Dubai

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Correct Article. Cannot think of loosing our little stars. What is the agony their parents must be undergoing. God give them strength
    to bear irreplaceable loss.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • P.F.Pinto, Mangaluru/K.S.A

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    To bury Two Little Angels at a time from one family I really cannot imagine! What must be going on in the hearts & minds of their parents.!?! It wil take a very long time to get over their sorrow & wounds.May Almighty bring solace & peace into their lives.Our prayers are with YOU.

    DisAgree Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Kiran Gonsalves, Kundapur

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Nice article.

    Despite such a heartbreaking tragedy, has the Government taken any steps to avoid such tragedies in future?
    Strict traffic rules need to implemented especially on vehicles carrying kids.
    Unless a Minister's daughter/son dies in such tragedy, nothing will change.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sheikh Abdullah, Hejamadi/ Bahrain

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Good Article RIP little Angels....

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Naveen D'souza, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Nice Article. May their soul rest in peace Amen.

    DisAgree Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Our hearts are with the bereaved members of the family who are silently suffering this irreparable loss with calmness and courage. It is time for those who ferry little angels to schools to realise that they are the local guardians of these children and have a responsibility not to be reckless and unconcerned. Those who are at the wheel should also realise that they have a responsibility towards the pedestrian and other motorists who are on the road and ensure safe driving. Only self realisation and concern for our neighbour will save us from accidents. "Speed thrills but kills" is a caution always found on the roads but seldom adhered to.

    DisAgree Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • R. Lewis, Mangalore/Bahrain

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Nice article....
    Rest in peace little angels.

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alex, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    "Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
    Surely they are Angels in heaven.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Alwyn, Mlore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    May God bless the parents and relatives with strength and courage to overcome the grief and agony of this unimaginable tragedy..

    DisAgree [1] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mahathma, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Difficult to digest to us and those who lost their little cutie pies... RIP

    DisAgree Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sebastian DSouza, Dubai/Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    It is the hardest reality. Only God can give peace and courage to the families of these children.

    DisAgree Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse


    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Rest in peace little Angels. can't believe the endless nightmare the parents are going through. Absolutely beyond words. Prayers to the family of these precious children.

    DisAgree Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lovelyn, Valencia

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    It is true that with time we all forget unless it has happened to us and its a shame. Hopefully the death of these little angels bring some changes around.

    DisAgree Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vincent Rodrigues., Frazer Town,Bangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    May the departed souls of the little ones whom we lost in the last tragedy be in eternal peace in heaven

    DisAgree Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santosh.K, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    RIP little angels !!!!!!!

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • SK, Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    RIP.....Little angels

    DisAgree Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Naresh Dsouza, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Thu, Jul 21 2016

    Very Nice Article. Its reality

    DisAgree Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

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Title: Trasi tragedy: Take time out to grieve - In memory of little angels, families

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