Death Studies Project
Death is the single, most unifying threat of humanity we have. It is an inescapable reality for all who are born, for all that live on the earth. It is often accompanied by pain or fearlessness, maybe at times both. Yet, it is relentless, foreboding, all consuming. Death is a journey we have all embarked on from the day we drew our first breath.
This research project will focus on several specific areas:
The Metaphysic of Death
What is death? Is it a physical event alone? Does it snatch us away, or simply snuff out that spark burning within each of us that we call life? Is Death a sentience, or more akin to a physical phenomenon like gravity? Will there be a point in which Death ceases to exist?
The Physical Death
How do we die? What is the process? What are the common and uncommon physical signs of dying and death? What transpires at the last breath? What occurs physically after death? What is the body? From where does the body come and how does it go? How does advances in medicine alter the physical death process? Is there a cure for physical death?
The Emotional Effects of Death
How do we feel about death today? What emotional changes occur in the terminally ill? What happens psychologically and emotionally to those who die suddenly, as opposed to those who die slowly? What is a healthier emotional state in preparing for our own death and/or the death of a loved one?
The Spiritual Effects of Death
What are the spiritual ramifications of death? How does imminent death effect the dying person? Is the bible true in it’s account of death?
Is there an afterlife? What of us exists after the body ceases to function? What of near death experiences? Is the biblical depiction of afterlife accurate?
Preparations for Death
How could we better prepare for our own death? What processes should we put in place beforehand? What of the death industry? My own death preparations.
I am both fascinated and terrified of the prospect of death of both myself and others. But, I do long to understand it, get my arms around what it means to die, prepare for how we often die, so that I know what to expect.
Death is the one event that no one really knows much about. Or, at least, we know virtually nothing about what happens at the point of death. Do we cease to be? Do we transcend? Are we reincarnated? Do we stand before the Great White Throne in heaven?
Akin to these questions are others: What are spirits or ghosts? Can we communicate with the dead and should we?
- I predict the reality of death is as it is described in the bible.
Long, Jeffrey, and Paul Perry. 2010. Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of near-Death Experience. New York: HarperOne.
Schwartz, Gary E., and William L. Simon. 2002. The Afterlife
Experiments: Breakthrough Scientific Evidence of Life after Death. New York: Pocket Books.
Singh, Kathleen Dowling. 2000. The Grace in Dying: How We Are Transformed Spiritually as We Die. [San Francisco]: HarperSanFrancisco.
Smartt, Lisa. 2017. Words at the Threshold: What We Say as We’re Nearing Death. Novato, California: New World Library.
Nuland, Sherwin B. 1995. How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter. New York: Vintage Books.
Palmer, Greg. 1993. Death: The Trip of a Lifetime. [San Francisco, Calif.]: HarperSanFrancisco.
Hart, Roger. 2003. The Phaselock Code: Through Time, Death, and Reality, the Metaphysical Adventures of the Man Who Fell off Everest. New York: Paraview Pocket Books.
Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth. 1975. Death: The Final Stage of Growth. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth. 2002. On Death and Dying ; Questions and Answers on Death and Dying ; On Life after Death. New York: Quality Paperback Book Club.
Rawlings, Maurice. 1978. Beyond Death’s Door. Nashville: T. Nelson.
Warraich, Haider. 2017. Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Wolpert, L. 2009. How We Live and Why We Die: The Secret Lives of Cells. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co.
Brody, Jane E. 2009. Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally, and Emotionally for the End of Life. New York: Random House.
Cobb, Nancy. 2002. In Lieu of Flowers: A Conversation for the Living. New York: Pantheon Books.
Gawande, Atul. 2015. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. Thorndike Press Large Print Basic. Waterville, Maine: Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning.
Harris, Barbara, and Lionel C Bascom. 1990. Full Circle: The near-Death Experience and Beyond. New York: Pocket Books.
Harrold, Joan K., and Joanne Lynn. 1999. Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness. Edited by Center to Improve Care of the Dying. New York: Oxford University Press.