It is never easy to lose someone to death, even if you have been prepared for it in advance. Having lost one parent quickly to a heart attack and another parent to a long-term cancer I have experienced both.
The ones that I believe are the hardest to endure are the ones that are preventable.
In addition, there is a difference between being able to prevent something and never having known that there was anything that you could do to prevent it. This is what happens to hundreds of thousands of women across the world each year -- those who have never heard the words "human papillomavirus".
While a significant number of these women live in third-world countries with little if any medical care or screening, women living in well-developed countries with well-developed screening schedules such as the United States, shouldn’t become too comfortable. On average, one woman dies every two minutes from cervical cancer.
This country overcame significant death rates and disabilities from diseases such as smallpox, polio, mumps, and measles in its earlier years through the use of one major agenda -- vaccination. There was a time, however, when children were not allowed out to play for fear they might contract one of these conditions.
Eventually a child’s entrance into school became contingent upon proving that the child had received certain vaccinations in order to protect the overall welfare of its children.
We still continue this today and have added such diseases as Hepatitis B and Meningitis however there is one vaccination which, while recommended, is not contingent upon school admission -- HPV.
HPV, unlike these other diseases are considered sexually transmitted as opposed to through general human contact (coughing, sneezing) so it is not necessary for school admission.
But HPV has been found in the saliva (as is hepatitis B) and as a parent I have often seen children share a can of soda or boys a bottle of Gatorade. Someone obviously needs to interject some common sense into the development of these policies.