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Hi Susan

thank you for raising these points. I will first start by saying that the word psycho-babble would be appropriate had I not been a trained psychotherapist. It refers to those that use psychological terms in an uninformed way. I can assure you, you are safe from that.

I am very glad you are bringing death in it's own merit as a separate subject. Death, decay, loss and grief have been my greatest teachers in life and guide me every step of the way. When they have occurred around me (quite a lot!) it has been far from a physical matter for me as one of those that stay behind, and it is my best perspective technique. I often ask myself what I would think or how I would act if this was my last day. That doesn't always affect how I act but it let's me know what matters deep down.

Brain structures might be a way of looking at it, but cultural norms are a big part of how we think (if at all) of death. In my country about 100 years ago the dead would be brought in the house for a vigil that lasted a couple of nights. The dead would be seen and mourned with rites and rituals. We have lost all that, today most dead are in hospitals and hospices. The medical institutions and the medicalisation of death also have a lot to do with it. Medical advances have done a great job at saving lives but medical institutions display a dread at the thought of it. It is as if their job is only to keep people alive. Indeed the option to kill oneself should one chose to is a big taboo in our society forcing people to travel away from home and at the threat of legal proceedings for their loved one if they deem their illnesses to be unmanageable.

I remember watching a talk by Stephen Jenkinson,an American elder (I highly recommend his book Die Wise) who has worked in hospices throughout his life and trying to bring death back into popular discourse who made a very touching point. He was saying that the role of elders in societies was to teach us how to die, but with the collective alienation we have from death, the elders have lost their main function and place in our society, a tragedy for us and them.

I agree with you that there are some pockets of progress. The development of death cafes across the UK is opening a space for people to meet and talk about death, their own and the death of those they love and its impact. Death needs more than practical and logistical adaptation, in fact doing that (like arranging ones funeral) might also be an attempt to stay in control. Death requires a deep psychological adaptation especially since we move through the most part of our lives denying the only fact of life-that we will all die in ways we are not aware of or in control of.

Beliefs about death are just that, beliefs, be it spiritual or pragmatic the truth is we simply do not know yet. There might be an end in terms of physicality but we are learning that consciousness somehow remains. I am fascinated in the discoveries in the fields of epigenetics that show that our life experience if we have children and grandchildren and greatgrandchildren travels on trough the dna. They inherit our traumas and our resources. This is enough to know that how we live our lives matters, not just for us but for those not yet here. And that is the vital essence of death for me that I talk about the article, the vital perspective on how to live our lives.

Give my regards to your tap dance group, I don't know how they will die but they seem to live well!

Maria

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Death 771 Susan Doris 04-Dec-19 10:54
Re: Death 105 cloister 04-Dec-19 16:25
Re: Death 112 Susan Doris 04-Dec-19 16:51
Re: Death 100 Maria Papaspyrou 07-Dec-19 16:36
Re: Death 87 Susan Doris 07-Dec-19 18:17
Re: Death 102 greengirl5 07-Dec-19 22:06
Re: Death 146 Susan Doris 08-Dec-19 07:32


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