Talking about death; planning for death; dealing with death.
These are some of the hardest challenges we face in life.
Our own familial relationships and cultures affect how we deal with this challenge.
Sometimes you need to look outside your own culture, see how they deal with issues, to learn more about your own culture.
To that end this article in Sixthtone about how Death is the biggest taboo amongst Chinese people makes fascinating reading. As Chinese society is strongly underpinned by Confucianism, which does not deal strongly with death and afterlifes, the taboo has formed and strengthened. Especially when combined with 20th century economic policies which led to smaller, often single child, families.
Compare this with the Irish whose attitude to death is completely different to Confucian cultures. In this blog post an Irish historian talks about her grandmothers constant references to death & dying, and joining her husband in the afterlife.
Reading the article it strikes me that we are all affected by medical disasters in the same way, the shock and trauma of losing a loved one, or being told your days together are numbered is universal. Problems vary though depending on how comfortable we are with thoughts of an afterlife and a life fully lived. That is where different cultures kick in. It seems one advantage of globalism is that some positive social practices are spreading. China is now holding death café's, people are learning to talk about death and deal with bereavement in a more positve manner.
And by seeing how China is learning maybe we can learn too? Address our loved ones with care and compassion and help them talk about their plans for their health, death & legacies.