What Matters Beyond the Physical Details of Your Life

Dealing with Death

Preparing for and coping with the death of oneself and others

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Most people prefer not to think about dying, and some people can hardly bear the thought. Yet thinking about dying can actually reduce the fear, while understanding and preparing for the practical issues surrounding death can make it easier for ourselves and our loved ones.

The most important preparation, perhaps, is internal. How should the certainty of death affect our approach to life? Do we believe in an after-life, and if so, what impact does that have on us in the meantime? How do we conceive the death of those we most love?

As we ponder these questions, we quickly realize that the most potent effects of death are internal, too: fear, grief, loss, anger, maybe regrets, maybe despair. These are negative feelings, but they can also be managed and even turned to positive account.

Of course there are external effects as well – to finances, relationships among those left behind, even to the very fabric of the survivors’ lives. These, too, can largely be anticipated and planned for, so that even that which is inevitably sad and that which is an undeniable and even grievous loss does not have to be, in the end, destructive.

Dealing with Death relates to other areas of Spirit:

Dealing with Death relates to other areas besides Spirit:

Dealing with Death Sub-Topics and Resources

The anticipation of death, and even more so the reality of it, has ramifications in multiple areas of our lives. Many of the central ones are touched upon here. But the “See also” links will take you to information and advice related to special situations and implications, and for the most part are just as important.

Note also that resources dealing with specific religious traditions are mostly not covered here. But if you are a religious believer or a proponent of a certain spiritual approach or philosophical school, you should also seek out sources of information and advice related to your beliefs. Toward this end, you might want to check out “Death & Dying: A Selected Bibliography” by Patrick S. O’Donnell of Santa Barbara City College.