Monday, May 4, 2015

On Death and Dying

When I was in high school I read the book On Death and Dying, written by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross in 1969. I may still have my copy packed away with my old books. I used to fantasize that we were related to her since my maiden name is Kubler. But my dad said our family was from Germany and she was from Switzerland, so it was unlikely. (I have since learned that our family came from Busserach, Switzerland so I continue my quest to see if we share some branches on the family tree.) At any rate, I found Kubler-Ross' theory about the five stages of grief to be fascinating. I later wrote some papers about death and dying in college as I worked on my Family Services degree.

Someone close to me died last week. Her spouse is not telling too many people, and does not want any discussions about the death despite the fact that it was unexpected. The body was cremated and there will be no funeral. While I respect the wishes of the spouse, I think this approach is very hard on those left behind. Many of us communicate through social media avenues, letting our family and friends know of milestones, successes and yes, deaths. And funerals are for the living, not for the deceased. They are a way to share our memories of a loved one, and to share our grief as well. There will be no closure for the remaining family and friends in this case. I feel bad for all of those who knew and loved this woman who will not be made aware of her passing.

Everyone grieves in their own way - I understand that. But it doesn't make it any easier to try to come to terms with this loss. In recent years I have written poems when a loved one dies. So I will write one for the woman I loved, even though I won't be able to share it here. Heaven has another angel...


Mrs. Wryly said...

My sympathy to you on the loss of your friend. I there is peace in the future for her spouse. Rough and tough times ahead, no doubt.

Mrs. Wryly said...

"I hope"