Death is a dreaded word. It is a word that many people would not want to talk about. Death is considered a morbid word and many would not find this as an engaging topic. According to Patricelli (2007), “[d]eath remains a great mystery, one of the central issues with which religion and philosophy and science have wrestled since the beginning of human history. Even though dying is a natural part of existence, American culture is unique in the extent to which death is viewed as a taboo topic. Rather than having open discussions, we tend to view death as a feared enemy that can and should be defeated by modern medicine and machines”. There are also people that have negative connotations about death, rendering life even meaningless because of it. Death appears to render life meaningless for many people because they feel that there is no point in developing character or increasing knowledge if our progress is ultimately going to be thwarted by death (Augustine, 2000). But the author contends that there is a point in developing character and increasing knowledge before death overtakes us: to provide peace of mind and intellectual satisfaction to our lives and to the lives of those we care about for their own sake because pursuing these goals enriches our lives. From the fact that death is inevitable it does not follow that nothing we do matters now. On the contrary, our lives matter a great deal to us. If they did not, we would not find the idea of our own death so distressing--it wouldn't matter that our lives will come to an end. The fact that we're all eventually going to die has no relevance to whether our activities are worthwhile in the here and now: For an ill patient in a hospital a doctor's efforts to alleviate pain certainly does matter despite the fact that 'in the end' both the doctor and the patient will be dead (Augustine). Our fear of death lead us to refer to it using euphemistic figure of speech . Those who died were referred to as those “ who are no longer with us”, “ have passed away”,; “meet his maker”. We try to dispel some of the word’s morbidity by referring to it in terms that are comforting. It is human nature to avoid the things or issues we fear. Besides the point, death remains an emotive issue that needs serious discussion. The word evokes feelings of fear, sadness, grief, despair and hopelessness. Death means the end- termination of life in layman’s term. Perhaps of all emotions and feelings about death- fear is the most common. People react differently about death. But fear remains the most common feeling about death. Fear results from uncertainty, because of the mystery that surrounds death. Death remains a mystery for many people. This fear has less to do with self-preservation but more of facing the uncertain future, the fear of change, and most of all fear of facing one’s life squarely and coming up empty-handed (Arnold, 2007). It is the unknown that makes us fear death. People do not know what happens in death. According to Stephen Knapp (n.d.) “[i]t It is natural to feel fear of the unknown. In regard to death, this fear may be of what might happen during the process of dying, such as the pain of a terminal illness, nausea, vomiting, or even fearing abandonment by those around you. The fear of death may also be perpetuated by the sadness of the family around the dying person, or the hopelessness of the doctor, or the nurses who feel they may have failed to keep the person alive”. This fear of the unknown does not stem from self-preservation, according to Arnold (2007)
A death in a family is considered a loss of a loved one. Some may accept the loss as inevitable, especially if the dead has been suffering from debilitating illness. Death in this case is accepted with relief- both for the family who could not bear to see a loved one suffers longer- and for the dead who would no longer feel pain. For these people death is seen as the released of the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document