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Dying, death, and grieving processes - Essay Example

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Before engaging with the course materials, death and dying was something that rarely crossed my personal thoughts, sometimes being sparked by violent films or news reports illustrating that someone had been murdered or was killed in an auto or airline accident. The inherent human values oftentimes bring up feelings of personal empathy for the victims of devastating accidents or crimes, which, to me, has been the foundation of my understanding about death and dying. When learning about the respected hypothesis offered by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, I learned much more about the sociological and psychological implications related to death and the grieving process that most people experience. The Kubler-Ross model states that individuals will go through a denial phase, followed by anger, bargaining, depression and ultimately an acceptance phase where bereavement is no longer as powerful as during the period when the individual lost their favorite friend or loved one. Now, my personal experiences with death have not been significantly unbearable as individuals that I have lost in my life were not intimately close, but were usually extended family members that died of natural causes due to old age. Therefore, these deaths were expected by family members which gave many of my family time to prepare for its inevitability. However, this course taught me about the complexities of grieving and the impact of death on people that were extremely close to those they have lost. What I found particular interesting about the stages of dying and bereavement that is provided by Kubler-Ross is the denial stage. In this stage, the person who has lost someone often refuses to believe that the situation has happened, a form of defense mechanism that helps shelter the person from having to deal with the complicated emotions and anguish that they are experiencing (Santrock, 2007). When I reflected back on situations in my personal life where someone I have known has died, I thought about several family members that were much closer to the person who passed on. When they were confronted by empathetic family members, they always kept a proverbial “stiff upper lip”, indicating they would be fine and there was no need for over-compensation and intense emotional comfort. This class helped me to understand that the psychological theories about denial as a defense mechanism are very relevant for certain types of personalities. Henslin (2005) describes the phenomenon of denial as a defense mechanism, suggesting that sometimes emotions are simply too powerful for a person to deal with effectively and their unconscious shuts down so as not to have to evaluate their true emotional state. The death and grieving model provided by Kubler-Ross added a lot of support for the sociological perspective on why people choose to deny certain events so that their consciousness has time to cope with stress, anguish and a variety of extremely negative circumstances. Kubler-Ross (1969) helps to explain why denial is such a universal theme. According to the author, people have an unconscious fear of death because there is too much uncertainty about what happens to the soul upon exiting the planet. She states that it is “unconscionable” for people to believe that their lives are finite and people tend to think about death only as being feasible when it is taken by another or some other form of external malicious force (Kubler-Ross, 1969). This is why death has ...Show more
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Death, Dying and Grieving Processes BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE Death, Dying and Grieving Processes Part 1 Before taking the course, I understood very little about the death, dying and grief other than personal experience with lost loved ones in my family structure…
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