APY421 Essay 2

APY421 Essay 2 - Sarah Jordan November 2 2010 APY421...

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Sarah Jordan November 2, 2010 APY421 Essay #2 Loss, Grief, and Bereavement Between Cultures Many cultures have different views on the ideas of death, mourning, bodiliness, and memory depending on their spiritual or religious beliefs . While many societies may share the similarity of grief when someone close passes away, much of the grieving process is different depending on the community and their beliefs of what happens when someone dies and passes on . If you compare the Wari and American cultures, you will notice that our ideas of death versus theirs is very different based on how the body and spirit are connected . Americans view it as the body and mind, where the body is an empty shell that just serves functionality . For example, if a person becomes brain dead and is on life support, we view that person as already dead; even though their body is still functioning, their mind isn’t processing or experiencing the physical plane of life . In Wari culture, the body and spirit are connected through ties with other people throughout life . When someone dies in the Wari culture their spirit is still connected to the body, just as the living are connected to both the body and spirit as well . For both the deceased to transition into the underworld and for the living to physically and emotionally survive, the connections must be severed . American’s view grief after death as something good – it is a normal part of the emotional healing process and is necessary for one to go through before moving on . Still, grieving is considered an isolated process one must go through; death is not part of the
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anticipated or expected normal, natural order of things and is therefore viewed by the person as something bad . Many who grieve feel guilty for bringing people down with them, which is one of the main reasons it is so isolated . There isn’t one specific ritualized funerary practice in American society because of significant diversity between cultures . Relatives will try to respect the deceased’s cultural funerary practices, but to them the spirit has already left and gone into the afterlife . The funerary practices seem to be the only way for the living to properly grieve and pay their respects, since public expression of grief is often viewed as inappropriate . Joan Didion went through the grieving process mostly by herself for months and struggled in returning to a normal life . For her, as many Americans, there was no push to move on; there wasn’t a consequence to continue mourning for months or years . It was constantly mentioned in the autobiography that Didion could not accept her husband, John’s death . She explains how for many of us who are dealing with grief, we try to keep the dead alive in order to keep them with us; this may be done through denial that the person has moved on or may be done by continuous grieving and relinquishing of memories . At some point though, one must let go of the person who died and must keep them dead . In American society, it seems that grieving is a longer
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APY421 Essay 2 - Sarah Jordan November 2 2010 APY421...

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