Surviving the Death Experience Rituals Essay

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This particular notion of reconnection with lost loved ones helps many people recover from the loss of loved ones. On the other hand, those who do not believe in religion or in any gods might argue that such beliefs are delusional and actually interfere with a more realistic acceptance of death for what it actually is. Nevertheless, it is difficult to argue that religion provides a valuable coping mechanism for many people in connection with death, irrespective of whether or not it is actually an accurate representation of reality.

The Role of Grief Counseling

Sometimes, people have a particularly hard time coping with the loss of loved ones, especially in circumstances where that loss is unexpected (such as the loss of a child), where it occurs much earlier than is ordinarily the case, or where the survivors actually witnessed the traumatic death of a loved one. Understandably, all of these situations present even more challenging cases than deaths that occur under expected circumstances, such as where elderly members of the family simply die from the long-term physiological deterioration and illnesses associated with old age.

Grief counseling can be very helpful in those situations. Typically, grief counseling provides the opportunity for loved ones to express difficult emotions that can be much more psychologically harmful when they remain unexpressed or unacknowledged. Counseling can also help survivors cope with difficult losses by allowing them to accept the mitigating factors such as the end of suffering or the pleasure that their loved one experienced during life. This redirection from focusing on the most tragic aspects of loss to the more positive perspective can be tremendously helpful in the process of psychological recovery from grief.
The Community at Large

Finally, the community at large also plays an important role in the way that individuals cope with and recover from losses. In that regard, it is helpful psychologically just to know that others understand our pain. The fact that other people can "mirror" our grief and that they can relate to us with their experiences in similar situations is very helpful. Likewise, the ritual of paying respects to the deceased (such as at funerals and memorial services) is also helpful to the survivors because it helps them understand how much their loved ones were appreciated by others in the community. Ultimately, sharing emotions (especially grief) with others is an important benefit of community support and it provides considerable assistance toward recovery from the grief associated with the loss of loved ones to death.

References

Deits, Bob. Life after Loss: A Practical Guide to Renewing Your Life after Experiencing

Major Loss. New York: Bantam. 2004.

Henslin, James M. Essentials of Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. Boston: Allyn

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