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Death Dying - Final Exam - Essay Example

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My negative perception of death possibly roots back to the folklore I have learned as a child as well as how the media portrays death as something gruesome and painful. Religious beliefs are also factors that contributed to my personal definition of death. Uncertainty on my destination in life after death and the fear that I may be destined to the lake fire shaped my insight of death. After studying the readings and conducting further research on the topic, I have learned that death does not solely pertain to the expiration of the flesh but may also mean spiritual death. Worrying about death of the soul is more of a concern than the death of our flesh. Though our flesh dies, our souls will continue to exist, it is not just death of the flesh that we should worry about but more of the spiritual death or decadence. As my outlook on death changed, my notion about birth remained to be based on the fact that we came from a Creator and after dying we will go back to our Creator. The course about death, dying and religion taught me as well that life is truly in the decisive hands of the Almighty. In examining the teachings of different religions pertaining to death, I have encountered some obscure beliefs and practices while some are unnecessary for the dead since the people left behind by the deceased cannot make amends for the mistakes committed by the dead as with the practices of the Chinese and Catholics (Handbook of Death and Dying 62). The differences and similarities on religious practices on death prodded me to research more on the subject in the Biblical perspective. The Bible speaks of two kinds of death, the physical and the spiritual. The physical death pertains to the state when the body ceases to exist (Lizza 37) while spiritual death concerns the dissipation of morality and corruption of the human soul. When an individual dies, the soul cannot come back and do the usual things a living human performs or haunt the living (Soriano, “Adam Died Long Before His Flesh Did”). This is contrary to beliefs of many countries and cultures where the souls of the dead people were thought to linger in this world and perform daily tasks as if they are still alive. Another popular belief in cultures is the notion that souls of dead people immediately goes to a specific destination such as hell, heaven and purgatory or limbo. Biblically, purgatory and limbo do not exist. Purgatory is a place where souls that are not fit for heaven or hell while Limbo is where babies not baptized by the Catholic Church end up when after they die. The centuries-old belief of limbo was later on declared null by the previous Pope Benedict XVI (Soriano, “Learn a Little Mathematics”). These additional readings has somehow changed my views and reduced my fear of death and dying because some of the vague destinations after dying such as Limbo and Purgatory that causes uncertainties are eliminated. The various approaches to death and dying made me realize that I should live sensibly by not wasting time on hating, arguing and finding other people's faults. After reading The Death of Ivan Illych, I have learned that I should be spending my life building good relationships with people and extend help to those who are in need. Tolstoy’s character was not well-received by the people he worked with thus the news of his death was not devastating (Tolstoy 12) I have also learned that it would be best to alleviate the pain and sufferings of ...Show more


Generally feared and perceived to pertain only to the flesh, death is one topic that I am not at ease to discuss. Prior to this course, I dread discussions pertaining to death and dying because I feel uncomfortable thinking of death and the feeling of uncertainty on what comes after a person dies…
Author : bradleywintheis
Death Dying - Final Exam essay example
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