When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

If you don't think about it, maybe it'll never happen?

So death, the most terrifying of ills, is nothing to us, since so long as we exist, death is not with us; but when death comes, then we do not exist. It does not then concern either the living or the dead, since for the former it is not, and the latter are no more.              ― Epicurus

The Guardian reports on a poll by the Dying Matters Collective,
In a life of inevitabilities it is the most obviously inescapable fate of all, yet remarkably few Britons have discussed their death and its aftermath, according to a survey, with little more than a third having made a will.

While more than 30% of people think about their death at least once a week, nearly three-quarters believe their fellow Britons are uncomfortable discussing dying and bereavement...
You can contribute your thoughts on the matter, if you've had any, by answering some questions via Guardian Witness. Yes, I have made a will, and yes, I have made plans for my death, though not for my funeral, as that'll be up to those who survive me. I've always thought it odd to plan your own funeral. After all, I won't be there.

I've blogged about making a will. Everyone should, especially if you have a family.

Update, 30/5/2015

Just learned a new expression - TMT, or Terror Management Theory.
In social psychology, terror management theory (TMT) proposes a basic psychological conflict that results from having a desire to live but realizing that death is inevitable. This conflict produces terror, and is believed to be unique to human beings.
It's mentioned in an article by Oliver Burkeman in The Guardian and it reminded me of a quote from The Oxford Book of Death:
The human race is the only one that knows it must die, and it knows this only through its experience. A child brought up alone and transported to a desert island would have no more idea of death than a cat or a plant.                                      ― Voltaire


cerrig said...

Big stuff, Margaret - thanks, and for the links. Here's one from me:


I'm not sure refusing to think or talk about death is worse than being obsessed by it, but either way, once death awareness has entered your consciousness, it must be lived with so as not to ruin your life.

Margaret Nelson said...

Thanks for the comment and the book information. I'd never heard of it but love Lobel's illustrations, so have orderer a second-hand copy from the US via www.abebooks.co.uk.