At the beginning of the semester, we talked about our culture as death denying; preferring ignorance and hiding/masking death when it happens. We also spoke of how planning for death has become very taboo in regards to living wills and funerals. People are simply afraid and feel awkward at the thought of their own death; I have an example which fits the pattern we learned.
Months ago, a family friend found out they had skin cancer on their stomach. Ever since, it’s been a battle for her between treatments and not knowing the future outcome and whether it’s spreading. Ever since it was announced, any talk regarding cancer is silently unwelcome, and the mentioning of future planning hasn’t been brought into question. I realize it would be very difficult to stand in her shoes, but feel things shouldn’t be the way they currently stand. I feel that she should talk to those around her about the situation more, and break the taboo nature of the subject. It seems that keeping things to a minimum bottles her feelings up, when they could be shared and comforted aloud. Along with hushing the subject, I fear a lack of future planning is at hand; which we learned is very common among our culture today. In class, we found that it’s terribly common for last wishes to be unknown when dire situations may arrive. Hypothetically, if things were to worsen and time continued to pass, a similar situation could present itself. Luckily, the circumstances seem to be leaning in her favor, but planning is never a bad thing! I only wish she would embrace the support around her, and think about future possibilities.
When I registered for Death and Dying, I felt I would regret it; sitting in a classroom twice a week talking about dark subjects seemed dreadful. I must say that the course instead provided a lot of helpful knowledge that can be applied all around us, and made me less afraid of something we all share, death.