The Psychosocial Aspects of Death and Dying
By: Jennifer Lanier
Jennifer D. Lanier
September 21, 2008
This paper will summarize chapters 1-5 in the book The Psychosocial Aspects of Death and Dying. We will take a deeper look at each of these chapters and explain what they mean. The chapters we will be talking about will be the following: Death: Awareness and Anxiety, Cultural Attitudes Toward Death, Processing the Death Of A Loved One Through Life’s Transitions, The Psychology of Dying and last but not least Social Responses To Various Types of Death. By taking a deeper look at the above mentioned chapters we will obtain a better understanding about society’s and individual’s viewpoints on death and dying as well as the many different responses that both society and individual’s have, and how it affects the grieving process.
In the first chapter we discuss people’s awareness and overall anxiety with death and dying. American’s were not always so detached and afraid of death as we are now. According to Mr. John D. Canine 150 years ago it would have been quite different to experienced the death of a loved one. He says, “He or she was attended by family members and visitors—including children—were welcomed. Family and friends were expected to speak “last words” to the individual and frequently witnessed the cessation of breathing, relaxation of the body , and loss of skin color” (Canine). Now days we do not see this same intimacy with death. People are afraid to be near a dead person. Afraid they may “catch death”. A lot of times people are in the hospitals surround by technology and maybe a handful of family members in the time the prior to their passing. We believe so much in the preservation of life that we sometimes forget that life does and will end and we try, and try, and try to prolong life so much so that sometimes we end up doing more harm than good. In this...