Death and Dying

Death is referred to as the cessation of the biological functions that support a living organism. Death is an inevitable occurrence but can be hastened or prolonged due to certain lifestyle choices such as eating habits, drug/alcohol abuse, physical activity, and certain medications. Some causes of death can be inherited such as diseases and other health issues. Death can occur naturally, by accident, and intentionally. Infectious diseases are the most common cause of death. Some of these are tuberculosis, malaria, and AIDS. These specific diseases cause approximately more than 300 million illnesses a year and more than 5 million deaths each year.

In other countries lack of sanitary living conditions and limited or no access to modern medical technology and medications heighten the results of death from infectious diseases. Other health concerns that can cause death are tobacco use, malnutrition, bad eating habits, and lack of physical activity. In many cases after a death an autopsy is performed. This is an examination of a human corpse in an effort to determine such things as cause of death and to evaluate if any disease or injury is present. This is very beneficial in unexplained deaths and deaths in which the circumstances are suspicious as in murder and suicide.

Dying is a process of death in which your body is shutting down and you are reaching a state in which biological functions are going to cease. Dying is a natural part of our society and is sometimes known by the person that they are dying but can also be unexpected. Dying sometimes involves a grieving process by the person dying and by family members and friends. This process includes denial/shock (usually at the beginning stages where you have difficulty accepting your own or a loved one’s death), anger (the second stage when you are asking questions like “why me”, or “why this person” and can sometimes displace your anger on others), bargaining (the third stage where you or a loved one vows to give something up in exchange for the dying persons health), guilt ( fourth stage of death; finding guilt in things you did or didn’t do in life), depression (the fifth stage of death where you have feelings of isolation, and mood fluctuations), and acceptance(final stage where you accept death and have dealt with it, but does not always mean happiness).

Death and dying is something we all will face in our lives. Dealing with it can be very difficult and sometimes the comfort of others such as a family member, friend, and a clergyman i.e. priest, reverend, or minister can help to cope with the process whether you or someone you love is dying. Talking sounds simple but sometimes it is hard in these circumstances.

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