The Concept of Death and the Process of Dying

Running head: DEATH AND DYING 1


Death and Dying

If there is anything certain in this life, then it must be death. Most people die in ways that are total out of their control and others do not even know that they are dying. This has created a variance about how people think about death and the process of dying. The understanding of the concept of death and the dying process has been credited as one of the ways they escalate an individual’s heath especially when they are suspicious of their death and makes them more peaceful with their personality as they die. It is important to point out the dying and death can be stressful for those who are dying, their caregivers and loved ones especially when pain is the only way out of life. It can cause depression and stress which eventually accelerates the dying process. Death can affect the social interactions and tamper with personally of people, making other to express aggression as others lose meaning for life and others. End of life practices influence decision-making and responsibilities among the family members as well as their community and the norms practiced during death are different from one culture as compared to the other.
This paper is a detailed research about the stages of death and dying, a detailed analysis of the grief and mourning process. it will also discuss the role of funerals and other rites that come after death, widow and widowhood, termination of life support systems as well as how to effectively care for the dying in the society.
Dying is not for particular people. It cuts across all the age groups and could be brought about by different cases like accidents and diseases. Healthy living can reduce the chances to die earlier as a result of diseases but at the end of the day, everyone one will experience death. Diseases are the most common causes that could result in death. The health disease was the leading killer disease in 2012. It was thereafter followed by stroke respiratory ailments, HIV/AIDS and diabetes respectively. In relation to death, it’s clear that there is great connectedness between lifestyles and death. Different cultures view in from a different angle but all cultures have a role to play for their death during funerals and after they are buried.
Stages of Death and Dying
Description of Concrete Experience
I have come to realize that we can run from everything in this world except death. This conclusion is after I visited the cancer victims in the hospital only to find thousands of other people struggling to live. All that came into my mind is that death is inevitable.
After a period of long observation of the people who were dying, I observed a variety of psychological ways in how people died. Some were taking the process with contentment as other felt a loss vivid in there regrets. I think every human being is certain of their death and they should show empirical empathy for the death is they expect the some to be done unto them during their time.
Generalizations, Principles and Theories
The dying process incurs several stages as theorized by most scholars. Which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and final acceptance, (Lilienfeldet al., 2011). Well, hope is a very crucial aspect throughout the transition from one stage to the next. Death is a universal concept whose stages are relatively similar across diverse world cultures. It has a lot of impacts to the society in terms of grief and analyzing where there is a way to fix the gap which will be left is the dying. Unfortunate, dying is not for specific age groups and could, therefore, increase the panic relating to death especially to the young people who might be willing to fulfill some goals.
1. Denial and Isolation
As soon as one suspects that they will die, they tend to experience temporarily shock as death appears to be bad news. Denial appears to be the defense mechanism, for instance, someone diagnosed with cancer may tend to doubt the result and request for confirmation hoping that the result might change. They tend to disagree that they are dying and at times experience isolation and negligence by their immediate people like family members and friends. Denial and isolation are high when the signs are so clear that the sick have fewer chances to live. This stage is thus important as it helped people to cope with facts about death and dying.
2. Anger
Anger is directed to God and the supernatural power. They dying people tend to wonder why they have to die and not others. They perceive it as unfair and also envy other people who might be health at that particular time especially those who do not seem to care and appear to be at their peak of enjoying life as the dying person is in extreme pain. The anger can also be directed to the family members, nurses and doctor for being unable to save their lives. The major reason for anger is related to the need to know, “why me?” In this stage, the dying need care and concern from their family members and support time as opposed to neglect and isolation. When anger cannot solve a thing, the dying person gives room for bargaining.
3. Bargaining
This is the period when the dying tend to find negotiation with God and the create imaginations about their future in the unknown world. Will, this could be as a result of God’s failure to respond to their anger and the dying thing that being good could help. The dying in this stage is more likely to portray wishes by imaging what they could go should they live longer. If they were asked, then they could request for their death to be postponed. The dying will portray their desire to live longer despite the fact that they have been assured of their approaching death.
4. Depression
Depression by the dying is due to mourning and regrets resulting from the losses they might have made in their life. Some might have loved their jobs so much while other were in love with their hobbies could not be ready to quit them. This type of depression is known as reactive depression. On the other hand, the dying might experience preparatory depression when they focus on the losses they will incur their family after they are gone. Impending death is a reason for depression as the dying feel helpless and sorts to wait for the process which will separate them from their loved ones.
5. Acceptances
Finally, the dying might tend to accept. However, it is important to note that it is not a happy stage to most of them yet they will tend to find peace and calmness as they reflect on their entire past. This stage may not be experienced by most of the dying people especially those who tend to fight for their lives till death comes their way. Parents in this stage tend to involve their children and give them some instructions which are aimed to guide them even in their absence. Most people will use this stage of death to reconcile and apologize to people they had wronged with an intention to be forgiven. This stage is basically about giving up and acknowledging that death is inevitable.

Testing and Application
Well, if we cannot evade death, the best way to handle it is to live well and ensure that we meet our desires at the time when we are health. One should also be ready to support the people who are in this stage of life rather than neglecting them.

Process of Grief and Mourning
Description of Concrete Experience
I have attended some burial arrangement and ceremonies. It is a very sad experience to the relative and friends. People were crying and also expressed some lose to their dear one which also affected as I also grieved with them.
I observed that most people don’t like death especially for young people and bread winner. The grief was even extreme when the dead and bereaved had some close relationship like parents and the couple. Encouragement and message of hope are important in this period.
Generalizations, Principles and Theories
Grief and mourning are multicultural concepts and their expression may vary from one culture to the other. Grief haunts the deceased’s relative and they can express it through their thoughts and opinion about those who died. They may be emotionally and psychologically affected especially if there was a strong bond between the deceased and the people he left. Grief can be accelerated by how people participate in interpersonal as well as social interactions and discord. Mourning and grief are highly regulated by the rituals and myths as practiced by a given ethnic group of people. Culture is a dynamic fluid that keeps changing with respect to time and increased interactions with other cultures making changes on how people grief and respond to death, (Cacciatore et al, 2015). This could be seen in fashion like dress code and technological influence.
Certainly, the cultures that people come from will shape their perception to major issues affecting life including death. Grief is as well as well a cultural product which could be done using different customs and symbols like a color. In some cultures, grief and death are represented by redness while others use black. One could, therefore, claim that grief is a subjective state of expressing ones sad feelings about death while mourning is a cultural regulation that involves rituals and practices as prescribed in a given culture. This creates a variation of how different world cultures express grief and morning which has been credited with its ability to regulate people’s reaction to traumatic experiences.
Testing and application
Grief can be expressed through public crying and wailing as people imagine of their unsuccessful attempts to save their deceased. I have always encouraged support and concern for people who have lost others for their psychological benefit. The bereaved family’s grief may be influenced by their belief about the death of their loved one. Verbal and written condolences are concepts that may either reduce or gear up the level of grief within the family members. Mourning is done in different ways with regard to gender variations. In most communities, women are more emotional than men and will tend to express themselves me physical than men. Well, research has it that they might cry more than men. This cultural stereotype is based on the fact that men should not cry and should rather give hope to others irrespective of the situation impinging the society.

The Role of the Funeral or other After-Death Rites
Description of Concrete Experience
I realize that the entire process of dying, death and burial make me agree with the fact that funerals and after death rights are very important. They are important for the community in general but the immediate family and relatives in particular especially psychologically.
I observed people, encouraging the bereaved to live positively, others promised to handle some responsibilities that were being taken by the deceased and I think that this is a very crucial activity for the welfare of the society.
Generalizations, Principles and Theories
Funeral ceremonies act as a mirror to beliefs about life death and social relations in the absence of a family or group member. Funerals are aimed at laying the body to rest and mark a beginning of new life to the bereaved as they try to cope up with life minus a member they might have loved. In modernity, the rites are often associated with what happen at the funeral home and morgues, (S?lusarska-Michalik et al, 2006). The family members play a significant role in ensuring that their procedures are followed and adhered to by the attendants till the day of burial. Funeral attendance is symbolic to the important positions and significance the dead had to the people they left behind. It gives people a chance to think about the life of loved deceased people and some people might be influenced to take some of their responsibilities like caring for children who might have been left behind. It is also true that most communities give men the priority to lay the body to the grave as they are physically stronger. This means that roles played are categories depending on age, sex and responsibility in the community and could vary from one place to the other.
Funerals are at times used to publicize the will of the deceased with regard to his properties and belongings and how he could like them to be share. The living may place the gift of different types which is significant to their acceptance and farewell for their loved ones. At times, the gifts may play a role in the payment of debts should someone be in need to pay what they own the death. Funeral rites help the bereaved to cope with life and appreciate the fact that funerals act as processes and that no one is dead till they are forgotten. The funerals are important as they create the sole opportunity for the family members to recognize the role of the deceased in their lives. Children women and men are handled differently and funerals could be used by the family members to confess their loyalty to the dead-aimed at making them rest in peace.
Testing and application
Funerals mark the final physical interaction with the death, no doubt about that. As a matter of facts, how the deaths body is handled after they die is highly regulated by cultural practices. I think this is the most appropriate moment to show respect to the death. I think funeral procedures where different people are expected to perform distinguished roles with respect to the requirements of their culture, should be followed.. I also agree that every member of the community play a major function during the send-off and becomes a basis for cooperation should there be a need.
Widow and Widowhood
Description of Concrete Experience
I have seen and interacted with widows in the society severally, a woman whose has husband has died goes through a lot especially if the marriage is still young, husband leaving her behind with the responsibility of looking after the young kids.
I have observed that widowhood is something really hard to handle. It is really a major problem if the wife does not have a steady income and solely relied on the husband for the upkeep of the family. If the widow does not get supported from the relative of her husband she and she is still young she might opt for remarriage.
Generalizations, Principles and Theories
Economic Issues in Widowhood
The death of a spouse will definitely lead to lose of property and income that the deceased was receiving or property he or she owned, but the continuation of receiving income can be made explicit through the law of inheritance, income program rules or through the will of the deceased spouse. In the United States, married women are more likely to experience a declining income when their husband dies than when a husband loses her wife through death. It is somewhat a puzzle in the decline of the economic status of a spouse upon widowhood, in the case of a widower, the higher earning men are less likely to die early than their poorer counterparts.
African Widowhood Practices
From the historical perspective, one is able to examine widowhood practices in Africa as it provides useful ways in comprehending possibilities of widows getting involved in development, legal pluralism, gender relations, religion, ethnicity, patriarchy, political and economic interests, traditional beliefs and family relationships. Widowhood rites are understood in an interpersonal relationship, institutional contexts, inheritance, and traditional beliefs concerning death, cosmology, and famine roles in the community. Africa provides a good insight for the for the understanding of widowhood rites in the past as it boasts of a rich source of traditional customs, oral traditions, and lifestyles not to forget eye-witness accounts and figures by visitors to the continent for the past seventy and one hundred years.
Testing and Application
Widowhood is a state of being a widow, this term is not applicable to a person who is divorced from their former spouse, but it might be used afterward if the spouse dies. It is important to note that the term widowhood is transgender, applicable for either sex.

Living Wills/Termination of Life Support Systems
Description of Concrete Experience
I have experienced one scenario where someone wanted to terminate life support system of his brother who was not critically sick and could recover. He was moved to insist on terminating the life support system so that they inherit his property after he patient dies. But luckily the doctor refuted the idea and his life was saved.
If the patient is in critical condition and the probability of the individual to survive is very minimal, the family members can give a directive and authorize the doctor to terminate the life of the patient. This crucial and difficult medical decision sometimes is necessary when the patient is going through predicament and the chance of continue living is very small, the decision might involve termination of life support system or through lethal injections.
Generalizations, Principles and Theories
The decision can also be made by the patient who feels they cannot make it out of their conditions; they can influence the decision where they feel that the family is spending a lot of resources for their treatment and might just eventually die in the process (Hanan, 2004).
The opposition of the patient’s family to terminate life can be influenced by economic status, some families may hesitate to terminate life support system of their loved ones because they might end up lose Social Security or disability check of the patient. On the same grounds, the family might also oppose the idea of transferring the patient from hospital to a nursing home preferring expensive hospital bed since it is covered by Medicare. Nursing home care is covered by Medicaid and it would redirect income of the patient to pay costs. Therefore even if accumulates to millions of dollars, economic motives of the family may play a role in making the decision of ending the life of their loved ones.
The family’s role in making decisions to termite life should be handled with caution unless the doctor also advocates for the same, it is a complex issue which needs to be determined before coming to a conclusion, putting into consideration the legitimate concerns of the family and preventing any abuse in the process. If it is patient’s decision to terminate life supporting system but the family members are against it, the doctor is in a position to give extra days before accepting the inevitable.
Testing and Application
There have are several reported cases in which a family member or members try to stop some medical procedures to be done on the patent citing patient’s living will but later turned out they would inherit the property if the patient dies. The family members of the patient should be involved in making the decision to end the life of their family member on medical grounds. The doctors also should not honor the patient’s decision to end life if the family members are against the decision.

Hospice Care for the Dying
Description of Concrete Experience
I have realized that hospice care can be provided at the hospitals, health care facilities or nursing homes but hospice is usually provided in the homes of the patient. Some families may prefer hospice care to their loved ones especially to the last few days before their demise and might regret later for not creating more time to say goodbye. It is important for anyone to learn what hospice care is all about thus can enable them to take care of their loved ones effectively.
I have learned that is a really dying traumatic experience; it is unique and might be influenced by many factors like particular illnesses and types of medication administered. Besides, there are also physical changes that are not usually common; therefore, the process might take weeks, few days or even hours to occur. Hospice care aims at patient’s well-being: emotional, social, physical, and spiritual life.
Generalizations, Principles and Theories
Hospice care is kind of specialized care that is designed to provide support to the loved ones who have incurable illnesses. It focuses on improving the quality of life and providing comfort to the patient rather than cure. Hospice care has no age limits, and for that reason, everyone is eligible for hospice services in late stages of life (Fleming & Hagan, 2010). How hospice services are offered differ around the world in terms of amenities and other factors, most consists of a hospice interdisciplinary team (IDT) which is made up of patient’s physician, a care manager, a hospice doctor, dietician, pharmacologist, therapist, social workers, and various trained volunteers. A hospice IDT is obligated to provide spiritual and emotional support in regard to their needs, wants, beliefs and wishes of the patient. These supports are not restricted to the patient alone, family members who are going through a hard time are also comforted, including grief counseling.
Testing and application
Hospice care is usually traditionally applied to people that have a life expectancy of six months or less, it also involves palliative care rather than undergoing curative measures enabling the patient to live their last days comfortably with dignity, grace, purpose, and support.

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Carnell, G. C. (1998). When the sun sets: A guide to funeral planning. St. John’s, Nfld: Breakwater.
Fleming, D. A., & Hagan, J. C. (2010). Care of the dying patient. Columbia, Mo: University of Missouri Press.
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S?lusarska-Michalik, K., & Z?ebrowski, P. T. (2006). Funeral rites of the catacomb community: 2800-1900 BC ritual, thanatology and geographical origins. Poznan?: Adam Mickiewicz University. Institute of Eastern Studies. Institute of Prehistory.
World Health Organization,. “The Top 10 Causes Of Death”. Last modified 2016. Accessed February 8, 2016.
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