When I was a junior in high school, my family and I had gone through something tragic that had happened in my family. My aunt had committed suicide and since then it became the hardest thing ever for all of us. My aunt was always close to me. She was like my second mom and understood me more than anyone did. It’s been four years since she passed away and there’s not one day that I don’t miss her dearly. My aunt was the happiest woman I ever met and she never had a problem with anything.
I took Death and Dying because I really wanted to learn about the emotional aspects of death. Even though it has been four years since my aunt passed away, I still get depressed thinking about her and always wonder what caused her to commit suicide in the first place. By taking this class, I was hoping I would get a better understanding as to how people grieve and whether it is okay to grieve. When I heard about this class, it really got me interested since I thought I could open up to people that might have similar stories such as mine.
After taking this class, I feel much better now than how I was before walking into that class in the beginning of the semester. This class had taught me that it is completely okay and healthy to grieve. This class has taught me that there are different phases of grief and I now know that the one that I am going through is the period of acceptance where one has to move forward with a life that can not be changed. This one death really changed my life but I really am trying to move on. I wish that I could go back in time to change it, but life is life and it just continues on.
Overall, our culture is a death and denying culture. Many people try not to think of death of their loved ones or even themselves. But in the end, death is irreversible so cherish the moments you have with the ones you love. I’m glad that I took this class because it helped me understand more about death and especially my losses.
End-of-life decision-making is never easy and takes a lot of time and process to think about. However, Americans do have the responsibility to make their own decision regarding end-of-life preferences. Everybody has the right and responsibility to decide what kind of treatment he or she wants or don’t want. No one should be forced any treatment if they don’t want it. Many people today are either very sick, ill from a disease or cancer, or they get into car accidents where they are fighting between life and death. From this, advance directives are important to have so that family members and doctors know what patients want when it comes treatment options. Advance directives also helps family members not having to go through the burden of making the decision of the patient’s life for them. However, when people are making their advance directives, they have to make sure of their decision when it comes to what they want because that’s what doctors will look at.
The role of the patient’s family is support there loved one and always be there for them by being strong. With family members always around, it helps the patient not to give up and give them a reason to fight. As well the patient makes better decisions when family members are around and family members make sure that the treatment is going well and is being done correctly. However, many family members today have to make decisions when it comes to the treatments because most of them don’t have a living will or advance directives. In the article, Susan Jacoby never had to worry when it came to making decisions towards her mother. She had never had to go through that burden and felt confortable and glad that her mother had done an advance directive. From reading this article, it is important to have an advance directive so that my family members never have to go through any burden to making decisions of my life.
Healthcare providers are always there because it is their jobs by helping patients understand treatments and details of their sickness. Health care providers give different alternatives and provide the best explanations for each one. However, healthcare providers can make mistakes because there is no right or perfect treatment. So patients, family members can for sure ask as many questions to a healthcare provider and get their decision as well.
Decisions are never easy. Some may be easy and some may be hard. But a decision has to be made and can never really be ignored. When it comes to end-of-life decision-making, it is not only hard for the patient but family members as well. I recommend that everyone get an advance directive because it would help the family members by not giving them a burden of making a decision and family members as well as healthcare providers would know what the patient wants.
After reading the article about Sara, It was truly scary to think that someone that has always been healthy from the start when it came to eating right and maintaining their physical exercise was going through a terrifying cancer. Like any other patient, Sara did try her hardiest to fight cancer for her family and her beautiful child, and the fact that she still wanted to live. However, with all the heavy medication and multiple treatments, it still was not able to save Sara’s life. So what should medicine do when it can’t save your life?
Even though medicine was not able to save Sara’s life, it did prolong her life a little longer than without the medication. Sara would not have been able to make it through all those months if it were not for all those treatments that even though they failed, they had somewhat of a good effect on her, than having no treatment at all. If you think of it this way, the fluid in her lungs would have spread fast all over her body if it were not for the multiple treatments that Sara did. Also I think that even though medicine can’t save one’s life, it can although help ease the pain a patient is going through during the treatment and throughout their final days as well. For instance, in the end of Sara’s treatment during her final moments when she was in pain, they gave her pain medicine to help relieve the pain even though it would still not help treat the cancer or stop her from dying. During her last few hours Sara was extremely scared of not being able to accept death and having to let go of her life. However, she ended up “letting go”, and that’s when it made me realize why the title was called that and how death is a denying culture plays a role in our lives.
Death and dying is portrayed in the media as very revealing now days. Death has been portrayed as fear in the media. Many children and adults watch movies and television shows and the effect of death are portrayed in all ages of the movies. An example of children’s movie and adult movie would be The Lion King where it shows the seen of the father being killed and Titanic where hundreds of people are killed in the boat crash. Back in the day, death and dying was never talked about in the open but since the media has opened up to it, children from a young age have learned about death through the media. I think that these different portrayals are useful because it opens the window up for many parents and their children to talk about death and dying. Before, many parents would ignore the topic of death and dying until the point someone in their family passed away. The media does a very good job in influencing our understanding of death by having it not only in the media, but also on the Internet such as Facebook and Twitter, magazine books, new channels, etc. We are so surrounded by the topic of death and dying, we have learned to adapt it around us and hear it all the time. We observe it in movies, and read about in the newspapers, and even learn about at schools. Learning about death and dying is not something that you can hide from. The media does portray a diverse portrait of how society deals with death and dying. In the media, they show all the aspects as to what happens after a person dies such as the church, funeral, the mourning, and they even show it in different religions such as in the Hindu religion, where many believe in the reincarnation, the Hindu’s would cremate the body. I think that America is not a “death denying culture”. No matter how hard people try to avoid aging and illness, it will end up happening no matter how hard they deny it from happening and they know it. Overall, death and dying has played a major role in our society and in the media.