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On the Topic of Death and the Afterlife: Discussing Death with Children

On Author's Den

One of the most often avoided discussions in our times is death. There is probably more discussion on the topic of death and the afterlife in some circles, but death and coping with death seems to be avoided by and large. Many struggle with death when losing someone, and finding closure is a common theme. And indeed, another common theme is the difficulty in discussing death with children.

In What We Don't Discuss: Helping Children Understand Death by Laura Sanders, she writes "1. Death is universal... 2. Death is inevitable... 3. Death is irreversible... 4. Death occurs for definite, concrete reasons... 5. Death is not defeat or the enemy." In addition, according to the same source:

"Children are not born to fear death. Fear of death may be something that is instilled in them from a very young age. We naturally fear the unknown, and death has a lot of unknown aspects. I believe it is important that children not see death as failure, defeat, punishment, or losing a battle. Death can occur at any time, but is a part of life, not the result of failure, or evil. It is a natural occurrence."

I would add, a discussion on death that is conditioned to overcome the fear of death is essential. Living life in fear of something that is inevitable and in which we have limited control is neither productive nor healthy.

Game Over

On TheWayToDestiny.Com

To the average person death is by no means a pleasant subject or topic for discussion. It is something dismal and oppressive — a veritable kill-joy, a topic fit for a funeral house only. The average person, immersed as they are is in the self, ever seeking after the pleasurable, ever pursuing that which excites and gratifies the senses, refuses to pause and ponder seriously that these very objects of pleasure and gratification will someday reach their end.

If wise counsel does not prevail and urge us to consider seriously that death can knock at our door also, it is only the shock of a bereavement under our own roof, the sudden and untimely death of a parent, wife or child that will rouse us up from our delirious round of sense-gratification and rudely awaken us to the hard facts of life. Then only will our eyes open, then only will we begin to ask ourselves why there is such a phenomenon as death. Why is it inevitable? Why are there these painful partings which rob life of its joys?

To most of us, at some moment or another, the spectacle of death must have given rise to the deepest of thoughts and profoundest of questions. What is life worth, if able bodies that once performed great deeds now lie flat and cold, senseless and lifeless? What is life worth, if eyes that once sparkled with joy, eyes that once beamed with love are now closed forever, bereft of movement, bereft of life? Thoughts such as these are not to be repressed. It is just these inquiring thoughts, if wisely pursued, that will ultimately unfold the potentialities inherent in the human mind to receive the highest truths.

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According to the Islamic way of thinking, death, far from being a subject to be shunned and avoided, should be reflected upon and should bring about a positive change in us. The Quran which is the book of the Muslims says on the topic:

Rendering New Theme...