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Our view of death
04-03-2005, 04:47 PM
Post: #1
Our view of death

Morbid subject I know but here goes......

Something came up in my lecture today about societies attitude to death. The lecturer was putting the case that since people have moved to the cities and towns they have become to remove themselves more and more from death. This has a consequences in that we now think of our own death less and less.

Do you think hes right? or has death always been a subject not to talk about? If so, am sorry for raising it. Also do you think its right how our society deals with it?
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04-03-2005, 05:40 PM
Post: #2
Our view of death
Beck Wrote:The lecturer was putting the case that since people have moved to the cities and towns they have become to remove themselves more and more from death. This has a consequences in that we now think of our own death less and less.

I think it's a good topic Becks, but I don't really understand what your lecturer was saying. How has migration to towns and cities resulted in a reduction in folk thinking about their own mortality? Does he/she means that we are further away from nature and therefore natural cycle of life and death that might be more obvious in the country? Or that living in the city makes one feel more indestructable in some way?

Sorry if I'm being a bit dense! Huh
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05-03-2005, 12:03 PM
Post: #3
Our view of death
Voice of reason Wrote:I think it's a good topic Becks, but I don't really understand what your lecturer was saying. How has migration to towns and cities resulted in a reduction in folk thinking about their own mortality? Does he/she means that we are further away from nature and therefore natural cycle of life and death that might be more obvious in the country? Or that living in the city makes one feel more indestructable in some way?

Sorry if I'm being a bit dense! Huh

His arguement was that moving to towns and cities means

a. we don't really have as much contact with the life and death cycle ie if you want meat you go into the supermarket and buy a pre-packaged item.

b. our rituals around death have changed. For example one set of my grandparents lived on an island off the west coast of scotland. When they died most of the community was involved in the process, in my grandfathers case moving the body back to the island, washing and preparing the body, etc.My other set of grandparents died in a town on the mainland. This experience was much more of a production line, ambulance removes body, hearse drops off pre-packaged body at church and delivers to cemetary.

As a consequence we think of death less and less, even though it is the one inevitable. I think there was also a case that modern science has us thinking we are indestructible.
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05-03-2005, 04:48 PM
Post: #4
Our view of death
I think collectively we dont respond to death in the same way. The loss of community, dreaming, religion/spiritual practices. However, there is an increase, I believe, in Buddhism where death is fundamentally important to living. Books such as the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, preparing for the moment of passing to the next life.
I remember when my father died and I was surrounded by psychologists and not one of them could say the death word to be. Grieving is an awkward, difficult, uncomfortable process for so many and yet it is, for sure, the one thing we will all experience.
I have also been critically ill twice and it has been an interesting experience. Something about facing the possibility of dying yourself which is a challenge and seeing the awkwardness/discomfort/difficulty of others.
In the Tarot the death card signifies major change/transformation. In nature death is fundamental part of life. Compare this to the major rejuvenation so many of us are interested in today.
One more point, I read an article today about high profile splits or deaths of partners and new relationships formed quickly. The article was about public opinion. For me, I see people wanting to skip over loss and get onto the next relationship/experience. I think people can be very illequipped now to mourn, grieve, hurt, experience emotional pain. Just some thoughts.

:boxing: Angel small steps lead to great things
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05-03-2005, 05:07 PM
Post: #5
Our view of death
I don't really mind talking about death. I stayed at my mate's house last night and she recently lost her father, and we talked and talked about him and the process, and other peoples reactions to it. She said it was refreshing to be able to talk about loss, death and greiving.

As a few will know I have my death all sorted out - well not death as such but the arrangements for it - if you see what I mean. We all have - and again I mean all the older ones in the family.

Living in the country, in a very small community, we hear of every single death surrounding us for miles and miles - and more often than not - we will know someone in the family and therefore end up going to the funeral. I don't want to say I am surrounded by it - but I can certainly understand what your lecturer means Becks!

When I lived in the City, if someone died in the next street I wouldn't have a clue who they were or why they had died etc. But here even though they may live 15 miles away - we get to know about it, we generally know them or like I say a member of their family.

And I suppose I see the natural life/death cycle on a regular basis, I see the Mart every Wednesday where all the beasts go to be sold for meat. The farm shop near us sells all the animals that we see daily. I see the foxes kill our chickens, and road kills of course. So death holds no fear for me.

I always cook with wine, and sometimes I actually put it in the food.
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05-03-2005, 05:46 PM
Post: #6
Our view of death
I dont mind talking about death, my family and friends are the same, we have a friend who died last week in Goa, bless him, early 30's, had a motorbike accident out there..........he wasnt wearing a crash helmet :sad:

I know when my brother in law died, it was a very difficult time because he had been split from my sister for some months because of his heroin addiction......it was hard because not only was he my BIL, he was one of my oldest friends, and we had tried so hard for several years to get him to sort himself out, but he had too many demons......

once the initial shock had passed, we found we spent the next few weeks laughing AND crying, we would start off bawling, then the next thing someone would say, do you remember when he did this, or did that, and we would all be falling about laughing through our tears.....

I think we should celebrate someones life, not get maudlin, after BIL's funeral, all of his/our friends and some of the family (the youngsters, we left the parents at the Irish Club) all went to our local pub and we had a party for him, we cranked up the speakers and played all his favourite tunes, then we let off a few hundred quids worth of fireworks and rockets for him.......

they did the same for Justin last week in Leamington, it was quite poigniant as it was Justin who actually orgainsed and lit the fireworks for my BIL......

All of my family and friends know what I want when I pop me clogs, a cardboard box with me in it with an ounce of finest skunk......then cremated (IF I could have a funeral pyre then even better!!!!!) I want Pink Floyd blasting from the speakers, lots of bright colours, NO black, none of the God malarkey, I want a humanist service, I find a religious service very depressing......... and then when all thats done, I want my ashes scattered from Glastonbury Tor!

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05-03-2005, 05:52 PM
Post: #7
Our view of death
Queeenie Wrote:All of my family and friends know what I want when I pop me clogs, a cardboard box with me in it with an ounce of finest skunk......then cremated (IF I could have a funeral pyre then even better!!!!!) I want Pink Floyd blasting from the speakers, lots of bright colours, NO black, none of the God malarkey, I want a humanist service, I find a religious service very depressing......... and then when all thats done, I want my ashes scattered from Glastonbury Tor!
Pink Floyd eh? I think "Always look on the bright side of life" followed by a few Laurel and Hardy comic moments and champagne and guinness...

:boxing: Angel small steps lead to great things
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05-03-2005, 05:55 PM
Post: #8
Our view of death
tonee Wrote:Pink Floyd eh? I think "Always look on the bright side of life" followed by a few Laurel and Hardy comic moments and champagne and guinness...

I dont find my beloved Floyd depressing like some do.......

My mate Zsa Zsa wants Hello Dolly played at her funeral :w00t:

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05-03-2005, 06:12 PM
Post: #9
Our view of death
Queeenie Wrote:once the initial shock had passed, we found we spent the next few weeks laughing AND crying, we would start off bawling, then the next thing someone would say, do you remember when he did this, or did that, and we would all be falling about laughing through our tears.....

I think it depends on how the individual dies. When my mainland grandpa died we were expecting it, he had had dementia for years and it was only his shell left. When the family gathered we did laugh and celebrate because it was like we had all been released. Sadly during the early hours of the day of his funeral my granny collapsed. It was a highly tramatic experience. I still remember sitting there later that day completely shell shocked as people came into the church and whispered about who the second coffin belonged to. Her death the family was just numb with shock.

I think there is a real difference in rural and urban deaths. We did not expect my island grannies death. But when the family gathered the community pulled around and helped. Allowing us the time to just be and grief.

I still think the majority of people are really uncomfortable with this kind of conversation. Maybe its because they are not comfortable with their own beliefs and consequently their destiny after death.
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05-03-2005, 06:19 PM
Post: #10
Our view of death
Queeenie Wrote:All of my family and friends know what I want when I pop me clogs, a cardboard box with me in it with an ounce of finest skunk......then cremated (IF I could have a funeral pyre then even better!!!!!) I want Pink Floyd blasting from the speakers, lots of bright colours, NO black, none of the God malarkey, I want a humanist service, I find a religious service very depressing......... and then when all thats done, I want my ashes scattered from Glastonbury Tor!

ps with you on the cardboard box front. Theres a place I think in Aberdeenshire that puts you in a cardboard box then into the ground and plants a tree on top. Eventually it will become a whole forest. I always liked the idea of my family coming and letting the dogs run about the wood, rather than go to a cemetary, its a far better memorial.

However I get hit by a car tomorrow I want to be shiped back up to the inner hebredies where my grandparents are. It overlooks the beach, so when we go visit we have a wonderful view, and then go play with my nephew on the beach after.
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