Posts on ‘death denial

Dear Gloria, Thanks for your reflections on Charles’ blog entry “Sad – ha ha”. May I respond…. In my own comments on this blog entry I was talking about overcoming death itself – not our fear of it. For the vast majority, claiming to have overcome the fear of it would be a pure lie. […]

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I’m stimulated to this post by Charles Cowling’s review of DeathMatters on his Good Funeral Guide Blog. Charles, I’m pleased that you seem to have mostly understood what I’m aiming at with DeathMatters – reawakening an awareness of death as a way of living better and remembering better. (But you should also have specified “living […]

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What a sign of the times,  that giving this name to my blog should not be ridiculous! For what could have been more obvious in every other epoch of history that death mattered! Of all things. That it mattered as much as being born, as getting married, as choosing a career, as making a living. […]

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Ye Mortals!

3 May 2010

When I was writing the mission statement for this site some time ago (“Medicine for LIFE“), I used the words mortality and mortals extensively. It occurs to me now how unfashionable these words have become, particularly the latter. In ancient literature, particularly in mythologies where humans existed alongside gods, titans, demons and other immortals, humans […]

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In a recent discussion about perservering through all the difficulties of life, I retorted at one point, “But in the end, the only thing that really matters is not dying. Anything is better than that”. To which was answered, “Are you sure? What if one suffers terribly?” I realized my mistake -  what really matters […]

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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 […]

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Obviously death always includes the material need to deal with the dead body. But how this is done – with what accompanying beliefs, ulterior purposes, everything beyond the actual physical disposal – is where the question of “body or soul”, of material or spiritual, becomes relevant. If the material disposal element is always present, what […]

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That motorcade, that gold casket, all that incredible media and popular interest in this prominent funerals. Where was the environment in all of this? And why was everyone so fascinated by it all, especially Americans who are so afraid of anything to do with death? In the microcosm of burial and cemeteries, more immediate and […]

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I am unconvinced that green burial as currently conceived necessarily represents a healthier integration of death as a part of life – for some of its fans, it may be yet another subtle form of death denial. Moreover, although it claims to have an environmental motivation, it may also hide unresolved spiritual issues – that […]

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Room for every hope!

12 Dec 2009

BBC World Radio surprised me with a call today, inviting me to take part in a broadcast debate on the “Tina Turner -esque funeral” trend in Britain. I learned from the journalist thatan uproar had been stimulated by an Anglican vicar (Revd. Fr. Edward Tomlinson SSC of Saint Barnabas Church) speaking frankly about the – […]

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