Please follow the attached doc “Question 1-4 ” for the questions to answer
Notice that the Chapter 1 reading for this week is a helpful lead-in to the following discussion topic.
This is the beginning of the course, so let’s comment on what our attitudes about death are at the present time. Some individuals have anxiety thinking or speaking about death.
Although many of you are taking this course to learn more about the process of dying, death, grief, and bereavement, and associated sociological and political issues, for your career track or to enhance your work experience in the field; there are always classmembers among us who have recently experienced death of someone in their relationships or know someone with a terminal disease and have a need for expression, understanding and support.
You will see that this is a significant course in your college experience. Right now, you are to enter a response about your attitude toward death as it is today. Please discuss in 1-2 paragraphs(single-space) being open and forthright. Remind yourself that while we are in this class for the next two months, we will be a fictive family.
A pioneer in the study of death education beginning in the late 50’s, Herman Feifel, contended that the psychological community considered death a dark symbol not to be stirred or taught, certainly not in universities and professional schools. His symposium and seminal publication, The Meaning of Death (1959) changed that perception and practice and gave impetus to other researchers whose clinical perceptions and empirical findings are provocative.
Some findings of interest are that death is a directive force present in all of us from our very beginning.
- Wahl (1959) and others contend that when we shield children from the experience of death, we hinder their emotional growth.
- Various subcomponents of the fear of death are evident in fear of the unknown, loss of identity, not able to live life “completely,” fear of going to hell, or other spiritual beliefs (Gillespie, 1963).
- How we anticipate future events, such as death, determines how we behave in life.
- Acceptance of personal mortality is a foremost entry to self-knowledge. Feifel reminds us that too many of us delay or camouflage death resulting in social pathology rather than using that energy wasted on denial for more constructive and positive aspects of living.
- Death education needs to assume a rightful role in our cultural upbringing. Death is a psychological presence in ourselves that needs to be attended to throughout our life stages.
Note: This material is referenced from The American Psychologist, April 1990 and other of Feifel’s work. It is dated but permeates later writings on death education.
Your task is to select one finding or statement and discuss it by thinking critically, referring to any of the readings or scholarly works, and your own feelings, reasoning, or perspective. The entry should be at least 1-2 paragraphs(single –space).
The following are terms and phrases associated with death and dying. It is important to understand what they refer to when you hear them or need to use them in communication with others and for your own benefit.
KEY TERMS AND PHRASES
Average life expectancy: the average remaining length of life that can be expected for individuals of a specific age and often related to a specific society
Death attitudes: dispositions, postures; settled tendencies to acting, representing one’s feelings or opinions about death; the other component, in addition to encounters and practices, of overall experiences with death
Death rates: the number of individuals in a particular group who die during a particular time period; usually expressed as some number of deaths per 1,000 or per 100,000 persons in the population; also called mortality rates
Dying trajectory: the duration or shape of a dying process
Encounters with death: ways in which one confronts or meets up with death; an aspect of experiences with death
Experiences with death: the sum of one’s overall death-related encounters, attitudes, and practices
Mortality patterns: typical ways in which one encounters death
To get some practice, choose one term and use it in a meaningful sentence as though you are in conversation with others.
Read chapter 1 in the Bryant and Peck textbook Handbook of Death and Dying.
Chapter 1: The Universal Fear of Death and the Cultural Response
CALVIN CONZELUS MOORE & JOHN B. WILLIAMSON
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