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PSYCH101 Introduction to Psychology For the Various Interpretations

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Questions:


1. Interview three people from different developmental stages about their feelings and thoughts towards death and dying. What similarities and differences did you notice? One of these individuals must be from a different race or cultural from you.

2.According to each of your individuals' worldview/race/culture, what would a "life well lived" look like?

3. How do these thoughts about death influence our coping with death? For this question, refer to Kubler-Ross' stages of grief as your coping model.

Answers:

Three people were interviewed for the purpose of this project regarding death and dying and its various interpretations. Among the three individuals, one belonged to the Indian culture. The first interview was with a 15-year-old student (Person A), second with a 35-year-old mother (Person B) and the last interview was with a 69-years-old Indian-American restaurant owner (Person C).  

Death, according to Person A is of course permanent and an irreversible phenomenon that causes shock and grief to the ones near to the dead or dying person. Being a teen, Person A has overwhelming fear about these concepts. However, he also expressed fascination regarding these concepts and confessed that he has an inner desire to experience after life.

Person B, a 35-year-old mother defined death as being the ultimate end of everything that is closely related to life. To her, death is most scary when she thinks of her child being taken away from her by it. Person B revealed that she has seen her relatives and close ones die and said that it takes life away from those left behind as well.

Person C provided a different concept of death from the first two. According to him, death comes to everyone and must be accepted (Parkes, Laungani & Young, 2015). He states that death is part of the cycle of life and that the soul needs a new body when the previous one wears out similarly like humans need clothes when older ones wear out.

Answer 2: Each of the individuals defined life in three different ways although the basic concept was similar. To Person A, life is all about staying with family, going to school, meeting friends and enjoying their company. When asked what a life well lived meant for him, Person A replied having enough money to spend on friends and fulfillment of all the desires. Person B, on the other hand said that a life well lived would be a life dedicated to her child and family making every effort to give her best to provide a wholesome life for her child. Person C opined that adhering to one’s culture and tradition even in the face of extreme oppression and adversity compiles a life well lived.

Person A being a minor has little experience of life and hence his concept of life and how it must be lived is confined to his observations only (Parkes, & Prigerson, 2013). These observations come from watching television, noticing elders and peers.

Person B, being a mother has lived good part of her life and her idea of a well-lived life may have changed with the change in roles and responsibilities in her life. A mother’s life revolves around her children and thus, everything good about life relates to them. Person B’s opinion about a life well lived demonstrated and confirmed this aspect.

In contrast to Person A and Person B, Person C’s idea about a life well lived centered around spirituality, culture and tradition (Irish, 2014). Although success was a part of it too, it was least considered.

Answer 3: Interviewing the three people belonging to different stages of life and different culture brought forth different aspects about death and dying (Klass, Silverman & Nickman, 2014). The way of dealing or coping with it, hence, also differs. To understand best the way of coping with death or grief, Kubler Ross’ five stages of grief provides a strong ground.

According to Kübler-Ross and Kessler (2014), grief has five stages- denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

Denial- This is the first stage when the person grieving denies his or her very existence out of extreme grief. The person starts losing interest in life and goes numb. Gradually, this denial helps the person to recover from the grief.

Anger- According to Ross, anger is necessary for coping. When anger reaches its zenith, it begins to disperse and the more it disperses, the easier it becomes to cope with grief.

Bargaining- This stage involves striking a deal with the almighty to let the person dying, live. The bargaining might also take place after the loss of the loved one.

Depression- Being in a state of depression is a common state to be at after the death of a close one. It is a necessary step to go along to overcome grief.

Acceptance- To accept the fact that the loved one has gone forever and one has to live with that throughout the rest of their lives is the last stage of grief (Volkan & Zintl, 2015). Moving on with life with memories of the loved one in heart forever is a good way to grieve.

References:

Irish, D. P. (2014). Ethnic variations in dying, death and grief: Diversity in universality. Taylor & Francis.

Klass, D., Silverman, P. R., & Nickman, S. (Eds.). (2014). Continuing bonds: New understandings of grief. Taylor & Francis.

Kübler-Ross, E., & Kessler, D. (2014). On grief and grieving: Finding the meaning of grief through the five stages of loss. Simon and Schuster.

Parkes, C. M., & Prigerson, H. G. (2013). Bereavement: Studies of grief in adult life. Routledge.

Parkes, C. M., Laungani, P., & Young, W. (Eds.). (2015). Death and bereavement across cultures. Routledge.

Volkan, V. D., & Zintl, E. (2015). Life after loss: The lessons of grief. Karnac Books.

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