The Inevitability of Deathand Views on the Afterlife

Essay by mpsullyUniversity, Master'sA+, September 2009

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AbstractBenjamin Franklin once said, "Certainty? In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes." The certainty of death looms inevitably for all of us, no matter how we choose to prepare ourselves for it. From our first breath when we enter this world, we not only begin to live; we also begin to die. This paper will describe some differences in the ways people face and view death. It will also explore how people grieve, death's random sense of timing, different beliefs in life after death and how religion can be used as a source of comfort for those that are facing death and the grieving process.

The Inevitability of Death and Views on the AfterlifeUnfortunately, death is and will always be a part of life. As humans age across the life span, at some point they ponder thoughts about their own demise and most times have to deal with death in the form of grieving or loss.

Thoughts about death and the possibilities of an afterlife are not universal and this subject is often the driving force behind many of the world's religious organizations (Flannelly, et al., 2008). Death is now primarily defined as the cessation of all brain activity as measured by a brain wave monitor (Feldman, 2008). This day and age, we seem to see this scenario play out often on television or in a movie. There is always that dramatic scene that involves the vital sign monitor flat lining and the long beep that follows, indicating that a person has stopped breathing. This picture is a little misleading today, since brain death is now almost universally used in this nation as the indication of death.

In today's world, different cultural groups have established their own unique ways of facing and viewing the finality...