Death and Grieving Research Paper

Pages: 2 (812 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Death and Dying  (general)

Death and Grieving

Views of death and dying: In the U.S.A. And in a cross-cultural comparison

According to the Centers for Disease control, the top three causes of death in the U.S.A. are heart disease (631,636 per year), cancer (559,888), and cerebrovascular diseases or strokes (137,119). While not all of these cases are preventable, it is clear that many people are not taking basic precautions to at least minimize their risks for these ailments, by maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and exercising. Many of these illnesses are also chronic and long-standing in their duration: the difficulty of dealing with someone who is chronically ill can make the process of grieving even more difficult: the anger and resentment of caring for someone who requires constant attention (especially if the illness was preventable) and the guilt of having to entrust that care to others (such as in a hospital, nursing home, or at a hospice) can tear a family apart even before a loved one passes. Of course, witnessing a loved one's sudden death and the inability to say 'good-bye' has its own stresses.

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Different models have been proposed to deal with grief. One of the most popular is Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' Five Stages of Grief progression, which states that grieving unfolds through steps of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and final acceptance. However, this progression is not necessarily culturally universal, and the feelings of denial ('this can't be happening to me') and anger could be viewed as a product of American culture, and its inability to openly and honestly deal with death. Kubler -Ross wrote: "the way that a society or subculture explains death will have a significant impact on the way its members view and experience life" (Kubler -Ross 1975, p. 27). Conversely, America's prioritization of the values choice, autonomy, and individualization has impacted its view of death, despite the fact that death is an inevitable process over which there is often little control.

TOPIC: Research Paper on Death and Grieving Assignment

It is important not to judge the intensity of a person's grief based upon their apparent reactions to death, especially if that person comes from a different culture: "Researchers have found greater outward expression of grief and more physiologic reactions among Mexican-American college students compared to Anglo college students and greater grief intensity among Latinos from Puerto Rico who experienced a sudden unexpected death than other Latinos and Anglos…[However, there were no] differences in bereavement for White, Black, and Hispanic adult children whose… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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Death and Grieving.  (2010, March 12).  Retrieved July 27, 2021, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/death-grieving/934226

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"Death and Grieving."  12 March 2010.  Web.  27 July 2021. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/death-grieving/934226>.

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"Death and Grieving."  Essaytown.com.  March 12, 2010.  Accessed July 27, 2021.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/death-grieving/934226.