- By Helen
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Socrates says a philosopher is someone who acknowledges death yet Western Anglo culture denies it in a systemic way. We don’t know how to deal with it, we don’t have rituals around it and we don’t know what to do or say. Death has become a social embarrassment, something we must hide.
The goal is human longevity and youthfulness at all costs and death is often associated with physical and emotional pain.
As an inevitable and natural part of our life cycle, embracing rituals associated that honour and embrace our death helps us to live our lives well and to face our own mortality. We can assist relatives and friends who are facing death with dignity by allowing conversations to be had, questions to be asked and by preparing as much as we can.
We prepare to welcome new lives into the world and so we should prepare to farewell the end of a life with equal ceremony and emotion. The making of shrouds, along with other beneficial rituals associated with funeral ceremonies, has the capacity to empathize with others and to help our grief by celebrating the completion of a life.
Conversations about death do not invoke our own and can only assist a societal relaxation on the topic itself. Talking about death can provide a healthy foundation for younger generations so they can feel comfortable to ask questions and to know how to be a part of such important life ceremonies.
Start a conversation with family and friends and share beautiful stories about our loved ones and what involvement we would like to have in honoring them. Start a conversation about how you would like to prepare for the end of your life, when ever that may be.