We Are Breaking the Silence About Death
Courtesy/ stanford medicine

| Literal Comprehension

In this essay, “We Are Breaking the Silence About Death” the essayist talked about the issue related to the feelings of people who are slowly poisoned towards death. He contributes to the great Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who worked a lot for dying patients.

Before the mid-60s, medical schools didn’t like to talk about the death and dying process of people. Even the doctors and medical personnel were hesitant to talk about death. But today the time has changed a lot.

People’s death and the slowly dying process are often discussed in books, seminars, articles, and classes at every level. And for that, Kübler-Ross has contributed a lot to popularize this topic.

She suggests that slowly dying people should die in their homes peacefully, rather than in a creepy hospital. She is positive about the matter that the hospital should let patients’ family members, relatives, and even pets visit them freely without any limitation on visiting hours.

Elisabeth’s career has always been humanitarian from the point she began. She initially worked for the survivors of bombed-out cities and as a medic in health camps during World War II. She then started to work for mentally retarded children after becoming a psychiatrist.

The experience of thousands of hours spending with patients facing death, she has outlined the psychological stages people generally go through once they know they are soon to die.

The stages are; denial of death, rage, bargaining, depression, and the last is acceptance. She also claimed that these stages are not limited to slowly dying people only, but can occur to any person with a loss of any kind and in the disturbance of any life stages.

A person’s first reaction to the news of his death is denial. No one has the courage to embrace death sitting that near.

The second stage is rage or anger. The patient starts to behave aggressively toward anyone else he encounters. He asks the question to God, ‘why me, and why not others?’

And when his anger fades out, he then starts to bargain with God. ‘Why now?’ He silently dreams if he could get more time to correct all the mistakes he has made in his life.

In the fourth stage, he goes into depression after losing hope to live. Inevitable death brings him a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. He starts to mourn his failures and regrets things that were left undone or wrongs he has committed.

And at the last stage, he understands nature’s reality. He is no longer concerned about his remaining life. He enjoys today like there is no tomorrow.

That’s all this essay is about. Live every day fully focusing on your own purpose, that you never need to regret at the end for not being responsible towards your life.


| Interpretation

The writer is trying to say that doctors should not hide the medical conditions of their patients, though how severe the conditions are. Patients have the right to get all notifications about their health issues.

Similarly, after the patient knows he is going to die soon, he will pass through five psychological stages and those are; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

So, in the end, the patient understands and accepts the reality of life and death. He then quietly waits for God’s call to purify his soul once again.


| Critical Thinking

The essay is quite a bit psychological and gives us a better insight into the dying process of a patient. Still, I am not convinced by the writer at all.

How could a person accept he is going to die, and all his life is going to be stolen from his hand? Doesn’t one need great courage to enjoy his life after he knows the end of his timeline?

Are the stages described in the essay correct? How does she come to pinpoint the stages? Can’t it be different according to a person’s belief system?


| Assimilation

After reading this essay, I understand how painful is to know we are going to die slowly. The news about death itself is like a slow poison that will make us weaker and take our life sooner or later.

Similarly, what I realized is that dying patients should be allowed to enjoy their life as much as they can before their time comes.

We all know, nature is brutal, but the reality is much more brutal than we ever can imagine, still we should not end our hope and desire to live.

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Founder and Author at Superb Future. Babu is a student of Business specializing in Sales and Marketing Management. "Everyone is a marketer, whether you are a businessman or a homemaker."


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