International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Exploring Attitudes Towards Death and Life Through Story and Metaphor

Zvi Bellin, Ph.D

Loyola University


This article sought to blend the clinical, literary, and research perspectives about death in order to explore the theme of living a full life in the face of the salience of death. The author employed two theories about death acceptance and death anxiety (Tomer & Eliason, 1996; Wong, 2008) for the purpose of interpreting a self-authored story, Born Again. The author presented his story as a way to explore the question of how one moves from the experience of being dead in life to being fully alive. The interpretation of the story in light of theory suggested that the journey from death anxiety to acceptance involves an affirmation of meaning through the being of the individual (meaning through being) in life. In addition, the author emphasized the possible role of writers, clinicians, and researchers to frame how death is encountered that may lead to more meaningful living.

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