What is the meaning of death? Can meaning
be found in the loss of a life? Are you struggling with your
own sense of mortality; is someone close to you? Have you
recently lost someone you loved?
In recent years, there has been growing interest in a more
positive approach towards death and dying. The value of religious
faith, death acceptance and resolving existential issues is
being explored by researchers and clinicians alike. This Forum
intends to bring people together who are interested in looking
at the mysteries of death and dying from spiritual and existential
perspectives. You are encouraged to post relevant articles
in this Forum.
Palliative counselling is another development that deserves
attention. Many people who are not confined in hospices, are
also struggling with end-of-life issues. To die or not to
die is a question being asked by people in all sorts of life
Below is a list of articles found in our archives which deal
with death; the pain of loss, the joy in a life well lived,
the support found in those around you.
There are various links dealing with grief and suffering
in our links section.
If you are planning to hurt yourself or someone else, call
911 (N America) 999 (UK/IRE) 112(EU) 000 (AU) 111(NZ) or your
local emergency telephone service.
If you need to speak to someone immediatley for support,
we reccomend these resources:
and Boys Town National Hotline (USA) 1 800 448 3000
Samaritans (USA) 1 866 912 4673
Help Phone (Canada) 1 800 668 6868
Samaritans (United Kingdom) 08457 90 90 90 (UK) - 1850
60 90 90 (Rep Ireland)
(Australia) 13 11 14
Or check http://www.befrienders.org/
to find a help-line in your area.
My experience of the death of my Nonno
My Nonno (grandfather) was
a great man in my sight. He lived his life making sure that
everyone in his family was provided for, because he loved
them so much. As my Nonno got older he began to show symptoms
of senility. A year ago he was medically diagnosed with dementia.
The 12-Step Tsunami Trauma Survival
Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
"The Asian tsunami trauma
is a different category of natural disaster in terms of scale
and impact. Unlike most natural disasters, which tend to be
one-time blows at a specific geographic location, the Asian
tsunami catastrophe is almost worldwide in its scale; and
its devastating impact on poor and highly populated nations
may last for a generation..."
The Art of
An afternoon with Art Buchwald
and Dave Barry
24 January 2007
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Last summer, I learned
how to die. Not that I want to practice everything I learn
(how often do you actually use that high school trig?). In
fact, I wouldn't mind waiting a while on that one, but it
was interesting to sit at the feet of a master..."
A Psychiatrist’s Approach
Men have tiptoed around the
subject of death for centuries. They have avoided speaking
the word death by using many euphemisms. But in recent years
the taboo has been lessened by a great deal of writing that
deals explicitly with death. Research papers, magazine articles
and books have multiplied prodigiously. So much, in fact,
has been written that the Journal of the American Medical
Association recently carried an article titled “Dying
is Worked to Death.”
Control in the uncontrollable
- the case of cancer
University of Melbourne, Australia
"A sense of control is
fundamental to our wellbeing. An awareness of our agency and
efficacy underpins the motivation for much of our behavior
- without a belief that we can successfully act upon our environment
to fulfill our needs, we no longer have a foundation upon
which to proceed..."
Meaning out of Conflict and Tragedy
British Columbia, Canada
is no doubt that times of tragedy as well as conflict in our
lives are extremely painful on an emotional level. The gift
of these moments, however, is that through tragedy we can
achieve a greater sense of clarity into our own character
as well as value system. During tragedy and conflict, we have
the opportunity to test our strength in character and utilise
Death, the Ultimate Loss - How
to help a friend in their grief
Denver, CO, USA
"I remember returning
to work after my mother died. Suddenly every door to my coworker's
offices was tightly shut. Hardly anyone mumbled a word to
me. There was no card. There were no flowers. No hugs. There
wasn't even a kind word from 95% of them..."
Does Terri Schiavo's life have
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.
"Does a person who has
suffered brain damage and can no longer feed themselves deserve
to live, or should they be starved to death?"
The First Precept: Reverence
"The First Precept is
born from the awareness that lives everywhere are being destroyed.
We see the suffering caused by the destruction of life, and
we undertake to cultivate compassion and use it as a source
of energy for the protection of people, animals, plants, and
From Death Anxiety to Death
A meaning management model, Ph.D.
"All human drama is,
to a great extent, a story of how human beings cope with the
terror of death, and how they overcome death anxiety through
a great variety of conscious efforts and unconscious defence
The stages of life. What we all go through!
Reprinted with permission
each of us is unique in thousands of ways, we all share the
human experience of being born, living and dying. It is helpful
to realize that we are not alone when it comes to dealing
with life's challenges and setbacks..."
Living with Dignity and Palliative
"Euthanasia and assisted
suicide continue to spark strong emotional reactions and heated
debates. Proponents on both sides of the controversy have
presented compelling arguments based on individual rights,
compassion, medical ethics and societal responsibility..."
of Indigenous People's Suffering
my research I have been struck by the suffering inflicted
on Indigenous people by their technologically powerful but
incredibly Ethnocentric Monocultural colonizers. Once these
colonizers managed a foothold on foreign lands they set about
to impose their value systems composed of Christianity, Democracy
and Capitalism upon the occupants of the colonized lands..."
Meaning of Life and Meaning
of Death in Successful Aging
"I can never forget the
angry reaction from a number of seniors right after the key-
note address on successful aging at a major gerontological
society convention. The speaker was a prominent authority
on the topic, yet his message was met with disapproval and
even anger from a small group of seniors standing close to
Meaning Management Theory and
"Imagine yourself on
board a train, which is out of control and doomed to end in
a fatal crash. Nothing can be done to slow it down or to change
the track. Worse still, there is no exit – no one can
get out of the train. As a passenger, how would you cope?
What would ease your death anxiety?..."
Pope John Paul II on the Meaning
of Life and the Dignity of Suffering
Coquitlam, B.C., Canada
"Pope John Paul II died
on April 2, 2005. A sea of pilgrims are descending on Rome
to pay their last respect to their long-serving, long-suffering
spiritual leader. The world is united in celebrating his lifetime
extraordinary achievements. Accolades and tributes continue
to pour in from all over the world, and significantly, from
prominent leaders of other faith traditions..."
Transformation of Grief through
Trinity Western University
Langley, BC, Canada
"Grief is an inevitable,
universal experience, more commonly experienced than death.
So much of life is about loss. Going through life is to endure
a series of losses, which include the loss of health, roles,
identity, homeland, and loved ones through betrayal or death.
Grief is the normal emotional response to loss..."
What is the psychological impact
Toronto, ON, Canada
"Five years after the
catastrophe on 9/11, its impact is still being felt. It continues
to dominate the news and American consciousness. The recent
release of the docudrama World Trade Center, the escalating
war on terror, and the rising casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan
all conspire to remind people that we are living in a post-9/11
era. The world has changed in fundamental ways - politically,
culturally and psychologically..."