A Half-Asleep Essay on Death and Pyschology

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Death the Great Equalizer

By Tristan Verzosa

Death the Great Equalizer

Introduction.........................................................................................pg.1

1. What Is Death?................................................................................pg.1

1A. How Do Our Bodies React to Death?...................................................pg.1-2

1B. Pain, Reality Distortion, and other "Mercy Processes"........................pg.2

2. How Does Society Influence Our Behavior Towards Death?.....pg.2

2A. Religion And Death.............................................................................pg.2

2B. Treatment of the Dead.........................................................................pg.2-3

2C. Law And Government.........................................................................pg.3

2D. Mass Media And Entertainment..........................................................pg.3

3.How Do We React To Death?.........................................................pg.3

3A. Fear of Death.......................................................................................pg.3

3B. Near-Death Experiences......................................................................pg.3-4

3C. Grief From Loss.................................................................................pg.4

3D. Coping With Loss...............................................................................pg.4

Finale .................................................................................................pg.4

4. Bibliography..................................................................................pg.5

Every beginning concludes at some point in time. For organisms, this conclusion is death; the ultimate equalization of life. This abrupt end to existence is well-known, and yet it is still a mystery to us. It has the potential to anger, disturb, appease, and change the fate of the human world, and it can occur at any given second: to the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the powerful, and the weak. This inevitable occurrence caused the invention of ideas of an afterlife and morals to prevent its untimely arrival; and its irreversible effects cause us to create law to prevent it -or cause it- in the form of religion and government. To the individual, death is something that is expected to be exciting, frightening, and mixed with emotion. It takes away others known throughout one's life and can seem to be an escape from stress. Those who survive tell us about their experience and make it seem all the more exciting or frightful. But, the question remains: What is Death?

We know that Death is the opposite and the end of Life, but even life is broad in definition. Life is present in things which are able to sustain themselves and survive in their surroundings, but that schema can apply to stars and rocks. Life can also be synonymous for consciousness, but then death would be unconsciousness and we could be classified as dead if we were asleep had it not been for another conscious being's awareness that we are "Alive" and not dead. Critically thinking, Life can also stand for one's heartbeat as it is a sign that one's life supporting fluid, blood, is being pumped through the veins and arteries of a person. Someone can still be alive and not have a heartbeat, though not for long if unattended, in an event such as Cardiac Arrest from suffocation, choking, a heart condition -such as Arrhythmia in which an individual possesses an irregular heartbeat- and other various causes.

The person is not immediately dead as the brain may still be able to function if the brainstem is still intact. Brain death occurs when the brainstem, which allows for reflexes and involuntary processes, ceases to work. Since this area of the brain is the most important for life processes and not the neo-cortex, or upper brain which excludes the...
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