The Fear of Death: How Death Has Evolved Through Time

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Words: 1004 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Words: 1004|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

In the story “On the Fear of Death,” I believe the author’s main purpose was to describe how death has evolved over time. I have seen the way things have changed throughout time and the differences between how people use to do things versus now. I do agree with her because of the way she describes different experiences about death such as the way it affects the family in different ways, how modern medicine has prolonged death, and the lack of personalization to the person who is dying. In the book, she also describes how even though we know of death and that everyone dies, we still have a hard time accepting it when it happens.

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As I was reading this story, I was enthused by the psychological effects of the family members in the home. I found it fascinating when the author stated “the child who angrily wishes his mother to drop dead for not having gratified his needs will be traumatized greatly by the actual death of his mother. Even if his event is not lined closely in time with his destructive wishes. He will always take part or the whole blame for the loss of his mother.” (Kubler-Ross 91) I knew that if it happened closely in time the child would feel that way, but was a shock to me when I found out he could still feel this way after a long period of time. Another example is about family members who fight constantly; they tend to put all the blame on themselves when their significant other dies. The guilt and regret they feel because they were not nice to each other also feeling like if they were nice maybe this situation would not have happened.

I also believe that medication has extended the life of human beings. People are living longer lives than people in the earlier generations because scientist have created new vaccinations to help prevent children from getting a disease that can cause them to die. They have created treatments to help heal people when you get into a car accident, break bones, go through surgeries and have cancer. Modern medicine has aided in extending lives.

When a person gets sick most of the time the family has a lack of personalization to the person who is dying. They do this for many reasons one being selfishness. This happens so often because we are not yet ready to tell the person we love good bye forever. Another is we forget to ask the patient what they want instead of doing what we feel is right. For instance, the author states “when a patient is severely ill, he is often treated like a person with no right to an opinion. It is often someone else who makes a decision if and when and where a patient should be hospitalized. It would take so little to remember that the sick person too has feelings, has wishes and opinions, and has most important of all the right to be heard.” (Kubler-Ross 94) We let our selfishness interfere with the fact that the patient may want something different because we want our loved one to be healed. Because we do this we make our loved ones feel uncomfortable. An example my grandma was sick throughout my life she was always in and out of the hospital. A few weeks before she passed the doctors had described her condition and informed my family and I we did not have much time left with her they and gave us some options to try and prevent this from happening and we all knew that she would die without the procedure. Her husband was telling the doctors to do everything they can to try and help her when there was also a 50% chance she would die during the procedure because of how sick she was. He never asked her what she wanted and how she felt therefore she was dying in the most uncomfortable way ever. Eventually they told him nothing they were doing was helping and all they could do was lower the dosage of her medication to help her feel comfortable and die peacefully. My mom and grandmother had a conversation and she did not want to die like that my grandma informed my mother she had the power of attorney and allowed the doctors to ask the patient wanted. It was difficult and one of the hardest things my mother has had to do but it was important to ask the patient how she felt. Her husband was a great example of describing what the author meant in his story because he was not ready to say goodbye. What he did not realize is no one ever is, there was never going to be a right time to say bye for any of us.

The reality of life is we know we are all going to die at some point and yet have a hard time accepting it when it happens. The way I have experienced death was a shock to me and I believe that was because I am naive to think it will never happen. I know in my head we are all going to die but I also feel that no one important in my life will ever pass. This is a terrible thing to do but I feel all of us feel this exact way towards death.

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I agree with Elisabeth Kubler-Ross because modern medicine has evolved over time and helped prevent sicknesses, we do tend to forget what our loved one wants and feels in hard situations, and because of the way death has different effects on many people. I believe her main point was to show us how much our traditions have changed throughout time by giving us the examples she gave. I also agree with her because I was able to relate one of my situations with most of the short examples she gave.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Fear of Death: How Death Has Evolved Through Time. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 20, 2024, from
“The Fear of Death: How Death Has Evolved Through Time.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
The Fear of Death: How Death Has Evolved Through Time. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 20 Jul. 2024].
The Fear of Death: How Death Has Evolved Through Time [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 12 [cited 2024 Jul 20]. Available from:
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