November 23, 2014
There are many uncertainties in the world. You have an idea what tomorrow will bring, but the events of that day or the days to follow that for the most part are uncertain. One thing that is certain is that someday, one day, eventually, you or someone you know will die. Death is undefeated when facing us living creatures. Yes, we are all going to die. We know this yet we still refused to believe that we will die and get angry when at such an unfair set up. Get to have this much fun or experience all this just to end? How fair is that?
Psychiatrist Elisath Kubler-Ross while working with her terminally ill cancer patients, discovered a pattern of grief, which now is known as the “Five Stages of Grief”. The first one is Denial. As I mentioned before, as we grow older at some point in our lives it begins to shock us that one day we may day. Then when faced with such obvious reality we start to deny such events could happen. We would say things like, “this can’t be real,” or “this has to be a mistake”. “It can feel as though you are experiencing a bad dream and you are waiting to “wake up,” expecting things to be normal and that your diagnosis is a mistake (Patricelli 2007).
A huge reason for our denial is that we are not born with the notion or the idea of death. In Ernest Becker’s book, The Denial of Death he explains that fear of dying starts in a child between the ages of three and five. A child’s brain isn’t able to grasp something as abstract as not existing anymore because it is constantly surrounded by living things that respond to their every need. Only as time goes on does the child realize that some things tend to not exist and some tend to not exist forever at about the age of nine or ten (Becker 1973). We are in denial for the most part because the fear or not existing, isn’t constantly in our subconscious. If it were we would not be able to function normally. So we...
References: Ernest Becker The denial of death Published by Simon & Schuster New York page 13 and 17 Free Press Paperbacks A Division of Simon & Shuster Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 http://public.zoob.eml.cc/becker1-2.pdf
Dealing with Your Own Imminent Death - Theories on Acceptance of Impending Death Kathryn Patricelli, MA Updated: Mar 7th 2007 http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=11989&cn=174
From Death Anxiety to Death Acceptance Dr. Paul T.P. Wong http://www.meaning.ca/archives/archive/art_death-acceptance_P_Wong.htm
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