Why does death shock us?

| 27/08/2015
Beautiful Death - Terry Fan

Beautiful Death – Terry Fan

I’ve been pondering this question today because someone I know just found out that his friend had died and his reaction was one of deep shock, then extreme sadness. He was shocked that this man, that had had a huge influence on his life, had died from a short illness and was already buried. Many of us probably agree that this is indeed a shocking thing, but why?

Given that the truth is we will all die, most of us have no idea how or when but we all know that we will die one day. In fact half a million people die each year in the UK, that’s almost one every minute. But somehow it still shocks us when someone we love dies. We can experience so many different reactions: that it is unfair, that it was the wrong time, that it shouldn’t have happened, that he was too young, that he had more to do, that it was a waste of a life, that we hadn’t said all that we wanted to say, we hadn’t said goodbye, we hadn’t said thank you. And so much more.

Perhaps the reason we find it shocking is because the subject of death very rarely comes into everyday conversation. And when we do speak about death the language we use is always sad and negative. The fact is that death is part of life and life is part of death. The two are inextricably linked we can’t have one without the other.

A useful place to begin the conversation is deathcafe 🙂

Category: death

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