Death: Learning to Live Essay example

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Death: Learning to Live
What is death? What makes death such an avoided subject? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, death is defined as: the permanent cessation of vital functions; the end of life. So maybe we fear death and death’s process because the thought of life ending is unbearable or because we know little about the dying process and naturally, as humans, we fear the unknown. These all may be true and in most cases probably are. But if one was to take a look at death and the process and consider the true meaning of that very moment in one’s life, maybe we would view it differently and maybe, just maybe, see life itself in a whole new way?! Marie de Hennezel, in her book Intimate Death defines death as
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No one wants to spend their last moments watching their most loved and dear ones sad and grieving. But people don’t stop to think about the great things this person has accomplished and done with their life to this day, but only think about the fact that they are going to lose them. This is no way to look at the situation.
When you look past death as someone leaving you, or being in pain, you realize that that person who is going through the process is happier than you. Why is that? Ironic as it may be, the dying often seem to be living more than the healthy are living. Death is a process in which many people get in touch with their true selves, the self they may have been looking for their whole lives. It may help someone else get in touch with their self or ways you wouldn’t even imagine. The power of the dying on the living is extraordinary and can touch so many people. It is such a wonder why the living fear death so much, for many learn how to live and what it is to live, from death.
In a dream, De Hennezel describes what she discovered about death and puts it into words perfectly, “. . . there was sadness, but there was also sweetness and often infinite tenderness . . . the space-time continuum of death, for those who accept to enter it and see past the horror, is an unforgettable opportunity to experience true intimacy” (182).
Unlike De Hennezel, Robert Murphy, gives his insight into…