Unexpected death

When we lose someone that is very near and dear to us, we are troubled by a solitary, perplexing question that we cannot answer, and it seems that no one else can give us a satisfactory response for it either.  We all have the question, “WHY why did our loved one die?”  It is a very natural question.  Does it need to be this way?  Does it need to be an unanswerable inquiry?  I think not, and offer this reflection coming out of my own difficult experience facing the death of my Matushka ten years ago.

We all relate to God in three equivalent and identical ways.  Some may call them by other names, but for the purpose this essay I will use the three that are the most logical to me.  They are 1) the Wisdom of God, 2) the Love of God, and 3) the Mystery of God.  Let us look at these three more deeply and see if it will be helpful in answering our “Why” question.

Before I continue, I understand that what I am saying does not bring back our loved one.  It does not take away the pain of loss or the emptiness we feel because of it.  I only write this because it helped me — and might help others—to understand what has happened and in some small way come to grips with the agony that comes with the loss of a loved one.

In a general way, we are always participating in these three modes of His being, even if we are unaware of it.  They continue to exist and operate whether we acknowledge them or not.  It is just that when we are talking about death, they are all the more acute, punctuated by the act of loss that has no equal in our world.

First, we are part of the Wisdom of God – not just knowledge, even if that is a principle part of Wisdom.  By itself, knowledge is simply being able to remember certain natural laws, or forms of math, or historical memory; by themselves they are little more than a memory chip of the brain that we can call on when we need a given area to take action or respond to a situation.  But Wisdom is much more than this.  It is the collective use of all that knowledge to use in a beneficial way.  Sometimes it is the result of our own years of experience in a given area, other times it is when we call upon others who we know to be wise and seek their guidance.  You cannot find Wisdom on your iPhone.  And Wisdom seeks to answer bigger questions about life rather than simply knowing a fact, like water boils at 212 degrees.  Wisdom seeks to answer questions like, why do we exist in the first place?  Deep in our being we begin with a longing for answers that we do not have.  We have a yearning that says we are certain we can find the answers, but first we need to know how to go about looking for the answers, discovering where they are.  And they are in God.  Our relation to God sets us on the right path to discover and become more aware of our own existence and what it means to be in the world.  Only by looking to the Wisdom of God can we find those authentic answers that fill our need to know about the life we are living.  That is why it is the first stage in our relation to God, for we are always becoming what He intends us to be, the ones made in His Image and after His Likeness.  How wonderful this is!

Secondly, this Wisdom leads us to the love of God, to appreciate what God has done for us and with us.  It makes us want to love Him for the life he has given us that makes us even the envy of angels.  “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.”  .  Not only this, but God became man and dwelt among us.  “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth” .  This occurred because God wanted to express His love for us and seek our response to love Him in return.  “We love Him because He first loved us” .  This would not be possible without having Wisdom about God.  But it also creates a problem for us.  God is so Infinite, so all-encompassing, so full of mercy, grace and truth, we are scarcely able to understand His love or able to embrace it at all.

And this leads us to our third relation of being to God, His Divine Mystery.  All things from God are shrouded in this Mystery.  It is why we in Orthodoxy refer to the salvific acts of Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Communion, Marriage, Priestly Orders and Holy Unction not as Sacraments, but as Mysteries.  Indeed, our ability to comprehend them and how they function on and in us is very much a mystery to us, yet our Faith allows us to accept them and repeatedly use them as needed.  We may understand their usefulness for us, and why they are important for our Salvation, but we are not God and therefore cannot comprehend the depths of their functions and abilities.  The words of Saint Paul are appropriate here: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory….” .  This “wisdom of God in a mystery” means exactly what it says—that we can talk of the wisdom of God, but only insofar as the mystery allows us to do so.  We can see that these Mysteries of God were from the beginning and were specifically created for us and for our glory.  This means a day will come when we will receive their meaning in glory in the mysteries of God when all things shall be revealed.  Again, Saint Paul writes, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” .

So far I have been talking in a general way about God’s wisdom, love and mystery in order to now answer our “Why” of death within the understanding of God’s design and His relation to us.  That is, if we can have a right knowledge of the three modes of our relationship to God, then we can better understand the “Why” of death.

Wisdom – When a person falls asleep in the Lord, three things happen.  First, their body stops working and doing the functions that allowed it to be animated in the first place; the heart, brain and nervous system all cease to function.  Medicine can tell us this has happened and our knowledge of medical facts tells us this is so.  Secondly, there is the separation of that which is directly connected to our being like God in the first place, our soul leaves the body.  And thirdly, our spirit no longer animates us.  No matter how much we may desire to remain in that body and with those we love, we cannot do it.  Perhaps this is why some people pass away with a slight smile or a frown?

Love – I believe the single most important thing to remember about the love of God has much to do with death.  People in anguish ask, “Why did God take him from me?” as if God wanted him or her to die.  Others become troubled when some catastrophe occurs and ask a similar question, “Why did God let that happen?”  In both cases it is as if to say our God is so cruel that He randomly takes people from us that we love without so much as a “I’m sorry I had to do that to you.”  If you want proof that God does not work that way just look at Christ in the Gospels.  The widow of Nain , the daughter of Jairus , and especially Lazarus, Jesus’ friend .  In fact, the account of the raising of Lazarus contains the most direct evidence for God’s reaction to our deaths; it contains the shortest verse in Scripture, verse 35, “Jesus wept.”  Does that sound like a vicious God, eager to bring down punishment on we wretched sinners?  I think not.  In fact, I am willing to say that God did not intend for us to die.  Period.

Mystery – Perhaps the most difficult duty of a Christian is to account for the Mystery of God where death is concerned.  Calling death a mystery does not give God a free pass out of our dilemma.  To say “we can’t understand it, so we must wait for the answer in the Kingdom of God” will not suffice when one is completely torn apart in their being due to the loss of a loved one.

Our experience of death is rooted in what I would call “The Adam Factor.”  If we look at the beginning of creation, how God created the universe and everything in it, at each step of the formation of each part, He saw that it was good .  It was only when Adam and Eve disobeyed God that their life changed the course of humanity forever.

In Genesis 2, God sees that Adam and Eve now have knowledge of good and evil.  He knows they will not be able to balance their life well with this knowledge and so He had to banish them from Paradise.  The Church Fathers use this act to say that by allowing man to taste of death, he ceases to commit sin.  It is an act of love and mercy as much as it seems to us as a punishment.

And what was their first experience with death?  God had to kill animals to make skins to cover their bodies.  And the second experience of death was even worse, as they saw the loss of one of their children at the hands of the other, when Cain murdered Abel.  And the world has descended into one tragic deed after another ever since.

Thus, the Mystery of God contained in our understanding here is found in two important facts.  It is in our inability to grasp the true purpose of death and our lack of comprehension of time and eternity.  Saint Paul reminds us that we lack the ability to fully comprehend this mystery when he says in Corinthians, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him….”  .  This is to say that the source of our struggle with Mystery is our own limited understanding, not God’s commands or directives.  Said another way, how can we expect a reasonable response to an unreasonable act?  If God did not intend for us to die, if God created us to be in Communion with Him, if God gave us a way to avoid death in the first place and we did not heed it, if He then sent His only-begotten Son to die for us and give us a path to life, it seems to me He has done all He can for us in our current state.  And He did all of this because He loves us despite our disobedience and our human frailties.

Thus we come to perhaps the most beautiful statement by an Apostle concerning our topic.  Saint Paul wrote the Romans, “for I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” .  You see, with the relationship we now have with God thanks to His Son, there is nothing that can separate us from His love, and therefore nothing that can take away the love we have for our loved ones who are temporarily separated from us.  Yes, our time now is temporary, painful but temporary, for the day comes when we can never, ever be separated from them again.

In conclusion, when I lost my Matushka to cancer ten years ago, I had the following verse inscribed on our tombstone from the Book of Revelation:  “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.  There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” .  This world and all its suffering shall pass away and all life shall be renewed.  This is the hope I keep for my future.  I hope you can keep it for yourself as well.

May God comfort us and ease our pain and suffering through His love and mercy.


  • 1 unexpected death

    Большой англо-русский и русско-английский словарь

  • 2 unexpected death

    1) Медицина: скоропостижная смерть

    2) Макаров: внезапная смерть

    Универсальный англо-русский словарь

  • 3 unexpected death

    Англо-русский большой универсальный переводческий словарь

  • 4 unexpected death

    мед.фраз. скоропостижная смерть

    Англо-русский медицинский словарь

См. также в других словарях:

  • Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy — Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy, or SUDEP is a term used when a person with epilepsy suddenly dies and the reason for the death results from unexplained respiratory failure after seizures. SUDEP is sometimes referred to as Sudden Unexplained… …   Wikipedia

  • Death in the Clouds —   …   Wikipedia

  • Death Comes as the End —   …   Wikipedia

  • Death Has a Shadow — Family Guy episode From left to right: Chris, Meg …   Wikipedia

  • Death Takes a Holiday (musical) — Death Takes a Holiday is a musical with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and a book by Peter Stone and Thomas Meehan. The story is adapted from the 1924 Italian play La Morte in Vacanza by Alberto Casella (adapted in English for Broadway in 1929… …   Wikipedia

  • Death bond — Death bonds are securities that are formed from a number of life insurance policies that have been purchased from their original owners by investors and pooled into bonds . Contents 1 Advantages 2 Disadvantages 3 …   Wikipedia

  • Unexpected hanging paradox — The unexpected hanging paradox is an alleged paradox about a prisoner s response to an unusual death sentence. It is alternatively known as the hangman paradox, the fire drill paradox, or the unexpected exam (or pop quiz) paradox.Despite… …   Wikipedia

  • Death on the Nile — For other uses, see Death on the Nile (disambiguation). Death on the Nile   …   Wikipedia

  • death — n. 1) to cause death 2) to face death; to meet one s death 3) to feign death 4) to mourn smb. s death 5) a certain, sure; heroine s, hero s; lingering; living; natural; painful; sudden, unexpected; untimely; violent death (to die a natural death; …   Combinatory dictionary

  • unexpected — adj. VERBS ▪ be ADVERB ▪ most, very ▪ Help came from a most unexpected quarter. ▪ completely, quite …   Collocations dictionary

  • unexpected — ] ♦♦♦ ADJ GRADED If an event or someone s behaviour is unexpected, it surprises you because you did not think that it was likely to happen. His death was totally unexpected… He made a brief, unexpected appearance at the… …   English dictionary


  • First Year, Worst Year. Coping with the unexpected death of our grown-up daughter, Michael Wilson John. When clinical psychologist Barbara Wilson was faced with the devastating loss of her adult daughter Sarah, her professional skills were sorely tested. How she, her husband Mick, and their… Подробнее  Купить за 1795.6 руб электронная книга
  • Good Angel of Death, Kurkov Andrey. When Kolia moves into a new flat in Kiev, he finds a book hidden within a volume of War and Peace. Intrigued by the annotations that appear on every page, Kolia sets out to find out more… Подробнее  Купить за 1205 руб
  • Good Angel of Death, Kurkov Andrey. When Kolia moves into a new flat in Kiev, he finds a book hidden within a volume of War and Peace. Intrigued by the annotations that appear on every page, Kolia sets out to find out more… Подробнее  Купить за 1133 грн (только Украина)

Другие книги по запросу «unexpected death» >>


For some people living with epilepsy, the risk of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) is an important concern. SUDEP refers to deaths in people with epilepsy that are not caused by injury, drowning, or other known causes.1 Studies suggest that each year there are about 1.16 cases of SUDEP for every 1,000 people with epilepsy, although estimates vary.2

Most, but not all, cases of SUDEP occur during or immediately after a seizure. The exact cause is not known, but these are possible factors:1,3-5

  • Breathing. A seizure may cause a person to have pauses in breathing (apnea). If these pauses last too long, they can reduce the oxygen in the blood to a life-threatening level. In addition, during a convulsive seizure a person’s airway sometimes may get covered or obstructed, leading to suffocation.
  • Heart rhythm. Rarely, a seizure may cause a dangerous heart rhythm or even heart failure.
  • Other causes and mixed causes. SUDEP may result from more than one cause or a combination involving both breathing difficulty and abnormal heart rhythm.

Risk factors for SUDEP

The main risk factors for SUDEP are:

  • Uncontrolled or frequent seizures1
  • Generalized convulsive (also called tonic-clonic or grand mal) seizures1

Other possible risk factors may include

  • Seizures that begin at a young age.3
  • Many years of living with epilepsy.3
  • Missed doses of medicine.5
  • Drinking alcohol.1

Steps to reduce the risk of SUDEP

If you have epilepsy, ask your doctor to discuss the risk of SUDEP with you.
The first and most important step to reduce your risk of SUDEP is to take your seizure medicine as prescribed.
If you are taking seizure medicine and are still having seizures, discuss options for adjusting the medicine with your doctor. If seizures continue, consider seeing an epilepsy specialist, if you are not already seeing one. You can search for epilepsy specialists using the links listed on the FAQ webpage.

Other possible steps to reduce the risk of SUDEP may include

  • Avoid seizure triggers, if these are known.2 Read more information about seizure triggersExternal on the Epilepsy Foundation website.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol.1
  • Learn how to better control your seizures with epilepsy self-management programs.
  • Get enough sleep.1
  • Train adults in the house in seizure first aid.

How do I talk to my healthcare provider about SUDEP?

When you decide to talk with your healthcare provider about SUDEP, you may want to ask

  • What is my risk for SUDEP?
  • What can I do to reduce my risk?
  • What should I do if I forget to take my anti-seizure drug?
  • Should we consider changing my current seizure medicine to better control my seizures?
  • If we decide to make a medicine change, what medicine(s) might provide better seizure control for me?
  • Are there any specific activities I should avoid?
  • What instructions should I give my family and friends if I have a seizure?
  • Who can my family and I contact locally to receive information and training in seizure first aid?

SUDEP in Children

Children with uncontrolled epilepsy or frequent seizures are at the highest risk for SUDEP.

Read SUDEP information for parents of children with epilepsy. 

More about SUDEP

Visit the Epilepsy Foundation’s SUDEPExternal page for more information and resources.


  1. Devinsky O. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. New Engl J Med. 2011;365:1801-11.
  2. Thurman DJ, Hesdorffer DC, French JA. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: Assessing the public health burden. Epilepsia. 2014;55(10):1479-85.
  3. Tomson T, Nashef L, Ryvlin P. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy: current knowledge and future directions. Lancet Neurol. 2008;7(11):1021-31.
  4. So EL. What is known about the mechanisms underlying SUDEP? Epilepsia. 2008;49(Suppl. 9):93–98.
  5. Nei M, Hays R. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2010;10(4):319-26.


unexpected death — неожиданная смерть The unexpected death of a five-year-old student at one of Manhattan’s premier nursery schools has parents asking… Неожиданная смерть пятилетнего воспитанника одного из дошкольных учреждений образования Манхеттена заставляет родителей выяснить… Then came an unexpected death a brain aneurysm. Вдруг неожиданная смерть… от не выдержки сосудов. God visits us with many mysteries in life, unexpected death is the most challenging. Пути Господни неисповедимы. Неожиданная смерть — тяжелейшее испытание. And while it was a fate that awaited us all, the unexpected death of Ricky Schwartz was a shock to everyone’s system. И в тоже время это была судьба, которая ждала всех, неожиданная смерть Рики Шварца была шоком для каждого. Her unexpected death was probably the trauma that triggered Mr. Oakman’s murderous proclivities. Её неожиданная смерть стала травмой, которая спровоцировала склонность мистера Окмана к убийству. Показать ещё примеры для «неожиданная смерть»… We only handle unexpected deaths. Мы вмешиваемся только в неожиданную смерть.


Оценка 5 проголосовавших: 1


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here