Damming the river of life

21 Apr

It has long astonished me how clever we have become about eliminating the visibility (that is to say, the reminders) of death in our modern world.

This has not happened only by chance and greater competition for space from “life enterprises” – there is deep subconscious death denial at work here, manifesting itself from the individual through the family and up to the institutions such as city planners etc.

Yet this aberration is of no real importance. I don’t want to sound like a prophet of doom, but when death is denied, or pushed forward a few years by health care, it does not disappear or experience a reduction – it merely accumulates behind the dam, like water that is not allowed to flow naturally to the sea. At some point, the dam breaks or overflows and death become visible again with a vengeance.

We would do well to address this issue now, attempt to let some of this natural flow occur – practically by rethinking our health care strategies and psychologically/spiritually in our homes, churches and city squares.


2 Responses to Damming the river of life


Charles Cowling

May 3rd, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Agreed. It’s a town planning issue, too. And a very important one. Get death back from the margins into the mainstream – the undertakers, the burial grounds…


Death matters – no kidding! | DEATH matters - practical advice and philosophical speculations on death and dying

June 1st, 2010 at 10:42 am

[...] we have hidden death in our society, it has not gone away. On the contrary, every act of “damming the river of life“, which is what death denial effectively leads to, adds to the volume of death that [...]