The topic of death can bring about a lot of stress—specifically fear (even anger in some cases.) In fact, the fear of death is thought to be the “mother of all fears.” The topic of death brings about it much uncertainty, hence the fear of the unknown as well. One thing is certain; there is no escaping death, everyone had to deal with it— eventually. Despite this fact, people, by and large, tend to avoid the topic of death. There are even a great many stories and interesting movies on this theme. In America, death has become very sanitized. When someone dies, the body gets whisked away to a hospital or mortuary, often times never to be seen again (only the casket). A recent trip to Ireland revealed a whole different approach to death. The Irish (like many other cultures) embrace death. Rather than running from it, they see death as a natural part of the life cycle. We were told that the Irish wake is a celebration. Renowned psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (the woman who was the catalyst for today’s hospice movement) developed her whole career teaching people about death and dying. “Death,” she said, ”is nothing to be afraid of. We must learn to embrace death, and in doing so, we embrace life.” Do you embrace death or do you run from it? Do you have a will (over 70 percent of Americans don’t)? Do your family members actually know your “last requests?” We many never have all the answers about death and the hereafter, but by learning to embrace death, indeed we learn to embrace life.
“We are all visitors to this time and place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love, then we return home.”
• Stress Tip For The Day
Take a moment to write down your thoughts and feelings about death. Learn to recognize and then resolved any thoughts and feelings you may have about death and dying. Some people fear death so much that they never have a will drawn up. This in turn, causes a lot of stress for those left behind. So consider taking time to prepare a will, and a living will. There are some on-line services that can get you started (see below) or you can always call an estate planner who specializes in this service. This topic is bigger than one blog entry can every address, yet the topic of death is one that we need to face, not avoid.
• Links/Books Worth Noting:
The following link may give you as start on making up your own will:
Elisabeth Kubler Ross was a friend, colleague and mentor of mine. I highly recommend her books including one of my favorites: On Life After Death.
Here is a website of her foundation:
• Quote for the Day:
“What am I going to do after I die? First I’m going into rehab. After that, I am taking a vacation.” — Jean Houston
Photo of the Day:
This photo was taken a few weeks ago while in Ireland, specifically on the Aran Island of Oirr. This tombstone was situated by a 1,000-year old church that had been nearly buried by sand. The Irish, like many cultures (including those in New Orleans), place members of the same family in the same grave (vertically).
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.