Germanwings – Flashback to the Death of my Grandfather in a Plane Crash

I was sad when I heard that a plane had crashed in France.

I cried when I heard that the pilot had crashed the plane deliberately.

I was so saddened by what had happened. I didn’t want to analyse it, or ask why. I was just sad that it had happened.

Everytime I hear about a plane crash I am reminded of my maternal grandfather. He died in a plane crash in 1988 in India.

I was very young then – and don’t remember all the facts – but I know it devastated my family. His wife, children and grandchildren – all lost someone they loved – in a blink of an eye. No time to say all the things you should have said, wanted to say, needed to say. No time to say goodbye. One minute he was there – and the next he was not. Someone, who even in his late 70s, was so fit and healthy and who had years of life left in him. That was a tragic accident – and over time the family have learnt to live with the loss – remembering him and celebrating the memories.

But it is hard.

What must the relatives of all the passengers on that plane be going through – knowing that their loved ones were killed – maybe on purpose – not accidentally.

And the pilot? What should we feel for him? Compassion? Hate? What can we feel? And what about his family? How will they cope with this?

For the last few days the media have taken to reporting that there is a link with the pilot’s history of depression and his actions on that fatal day. It is important to put this into perspective and not over simplify things. Just because someone has depression it does not mean that they are at risk of acting in this way. The media need to be more sensitive to how they portray this story – as all they are currently doing is further stigmatising mental health issues – and that is not helpful.

But for now – why are we looking for answers? Just for a while can we not take time to grieve for the loss of life, time to send compassionate thoughts and prayers to all those who are suffering and time to pray for the souls of the lives lost on that plane. Let’s just take time – the answers – the Whys and What Ifs will be answered in due course.

Today, I will light a candle and sit in quiet contemplation for all those people who lost their lives and their families left behind grieving – the pilot and his family will be included. Perhaps you could do the same?

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