A deathly conversation

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A deathly conversation

Summary:
– interview with an author, Brooke Davis (Lost & Found)
– Epicureans – get on with your life
– Existentialists – live your life in tHe knowledge of death, & by paying attention to death a person is able to have an authentic life
– experiences can transform a person – they are different before and after an experience

Brooke discusses death of her mother in a freak accident (& on the front page of a newspaper) while she was overseas:
– it was shocking to Brooke
– she was plunged into a world of sadness by the death of another
– transformation occurred as a result of trauma
– euphemisms about death & “moving on”, acceptance & around grief – that people do not die but “pass on”
– she believes such language “dances around” the fact that such pain exists within the human experience & as part of the human condition
– she believes that such language attempts to deny pain & to “contain” sadness & grief
– she notes to that the grieving process seems to involve a range of “emotional checkpoints”
– she notes concepts of closure, moving on [within the culture & the expectations to do this within a culture geared to be in an unending state of happiness & that contacting pain is abnormal; & that it is shameful to feel depression as the result of experiencing grief because we “should be positive in the face of anything” – that there is a need to “rush through it” & “get over it”

Death (our and others) can be a transformative experience
– there is often a “success” element packaged in a transformative experience
– but what if the transformative experience is “messy” (like grief is messy) & ongoing & not like in a book or movie where everything is wrapped up neatly?
– grief is often unresolved & yet grief is heavily, socially prescribed

She also discusses:
– how keep death close to her makes her a better person
– makes her seek deeper connections
– she uses it to find a place of contentment between the concepts of pain & joy
– a lot of her grief was “just sobbing in a room”, but it can be found in times & places such as laughing, eating, doing sport, doing chores etc.,
– how grief is very individual & yet the “social obligation” is always to be happy & never to be sad
– the recovery models & stages of grief (again, as if there is some prescribed way to go about it) – Kuhbler-Ross
– the concept of death being a cathartic experience, with the aim of making a person feel better (as if somehow that must be the point of a grief experience) – again, as if according to a social script that is culturally acceptable – with a beginning and an end, with feeling good/having grown as a result/ being the outcome

Source: ABC RN | the Philospher’s Zone | podcast date: 9 April 2017

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