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 u04d2 Emotional Reactions to Death

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Female Number of posts : 618
Age : 45
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Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: u04d2 Emotional Reactions to Death   Sun Aug 01, 2010 7:17 pm

u04d2 Emotional Reactions to Death

In the context of emotional reactions defined by Kübler-Ross in our
text on death and dying, discuss your reactions to the death of a loved
one. If you do not wish to discuss your own reactions (either because
you have not experienced this personally, or due to personal
view a video of a movie such as The Notebook, Steel Magnolias, or Terms
of Endearment, and use what you see to discuss the relevant concepts.

Submit a description of the circumstances of the death—sudden,
accidental, or prolonged—and discuss how your observations either
support or deny the validity of Kübler-Ross's ideas. Were all five basic
emotions experienced? Why might some of the five not be present? What
do you think happens if people do not experience any of these emotions?

Response Guidelines

Provide substantive responses to the initial posts of at least two
other learners. Contribute to the conversation by asking questions,
respectfully debating positions, or responding freely to the topic at
hand. Your responses should reference assigned readings as well as other
academic references that support your views and writings. Use the APA
(6th Edition) style and formatting for citing your references.

NOTE: As you read through the posts of your peers,
you might find opinions and value sets that differ from your own.
Remember to be respectful of others' opinions and value perspectives.


  • Discussion Participation Scoring Guide.
  • APA style and formatting.

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Female Number of posts : 618
Age : 45
Location : The Sunshine State
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: u04d2 Emotional Reactions to Death   Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:54 pm

Emotional Reactions to Death

According to thanatologist Kubler-Ross, she observed five basic
emotional reactions to impending death. These five basic emotions are
described below:

Denial and Isolation ~ A typical first reaction is
to deny death’s reality and isolate from information confirming that
death is going to occur. Initially, the person may be sure that “ It’s
all a mistake”. “Surely” she or he thinks, :the lab reports have been
mixed up or the doctor made an error”. This sort of denial may proceed
to attempts to avoid any reminder of the situation.

Anger ~ Many dying individuals feel anger and ask
“Why Me?” As they face the threat of life being torn away, their anger
may spill over into rage toward the living. Even good friends may
temporarily evoke anger because their health is envied.

Bargaining ~ In another common reaction, the
terminally ill bargain with themselves or with God. The dying person
thinks “ Just let me live longer and I’ll do anything to earn it.”
Individuals may bargain for more time by trying to be “Good”, by
righting past wrongs, or by praying that if they are granted more time
they will dedicate themselves to their religion.

Depression ~ As death draws near the person beings
to recognize that it can not be prevented, feelings of futility,
exhaustion, and deep depression may set in. The person realizes she or
he will be separated from friends, loved ones, and the familiar
routines of life, and this can cause a profound sadness.

Acceptance ~ If death is not sudden, many people
manage to come to terms with it and accept it calmly. The person who
accepts death is neither happy nor sad, but at peace with the
inevitable. Acceptance usually signals that the struggle with death has
been resolved. The need to talk about dead ends, and silent
companionship from others is frequently all the person desires.

I personally have had an experience with death at a relatively young
age.. Both of my parents were out shopping for a birthday present three
days prior to my sweet sixteen birthday party. It was a stormy night in
November when my mother asked my grandmother to house sit while they
went shopping. I was very excited because I knew they went out to
purchase my birthday present and was hoping to receive what I had
written on my birthday wish list. A few hours had passed and they had
not returned yet. My grandmother began to become anxious, waiting by the
front window hoping they didn’t have car trouble having gone out in the
stormy weather.

Shortly afterward, my grandmother received a phone call from the
local police department saying that there had been a horribly tragic
accident on the road, and that my parents car was struck by a drunk
driver behind the wheel of a MAC truck and both were killed instantly.
From the look on my grandmothers face still holding the phone, I knew
something really bad had happened as she sat down and began to cry
uncontrollably. Still unaware at that point as to what was going on, she
hung up the phone and sat back down looking at me with tears in her
eyes as I kneeled before her on the kitchen floor. She held my head in
her lap and she began to explain what had happened. At first, I think I
was in shock, a whole range of emotions ran through me all at once as I
began sobbing uncontrollably, from denial and disbelief, to anger and
bargaining , and eventually a great depression washed over me over the
next few days. I felt completely numb, dumbfounded as to what was going
on around me even. While I immediately was surrounded by my family and
friends during this time, I can not remember any of the events having
lead up to the wake and funeral for my parents. It was only then I
became very aware that I will never have them in my life again. I was
angry and lost, an empty shell of the happy girl I had once been. It
took me a very long time to come to terms with their sudden death and
the acceptance that they would now be watching over me from heaven.

While I myself had experienced the five basic emotional reactions to
their death, almost exactly in that order, over time. My cousin Melissa,
who also shared a very deep bond with my mother, did not experience any
range of emotions at the time. She had become very introverted and
almost stopped talking completely, for months afterwards. She became
plagued by nightmares of my mother at her bedside pleading with her to
watch over me. Such visions is what eventually brought her to see a
psychologist to help her cope with the passing of my mother. I can not
say for sure why some people experience the range of emotions in
reaction to death, while others do not. I personally think death effects
people in many different ways. Some may block it out completely and it
may take years to resurface from such tragic events in life, only to try
and deal with the emotional memories later in life.

~ Vanessa Daly


Coon, D., & Mitterer, J. O. (2010). Introduction to psychology: Gateways to mind and behavior, Chapter 3, Human Development, pp 78-117, (12th ed)

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Female Number of posts : 618
Age : 45
Location : The Sunshine State
Registration date : 2008-04-22

PostSubject: Re: u04d2 Emotional Reactions to Death   Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:17 am

submitted and graded 100%

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