The Death Positive Movement
Before cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Rockford, IL, we may want to reconsider how we view death. Most people know very little about death and dying because we’ve removed it from the normal rhythm of life.
A century ago, when people got sick, they didn’t work to extend life. If they were dying, they didn’t go to hospitals or nursing homes to die. Instead, the best possible death was one at home, surrounded by loved ones.
Because family members, both the old and the young, were exposed to death regularly and repeatedly, it was not something to be feared, even though the loss and grief were just as hard to take then (if not harder, in some cases), or avoided, but to be expected.
Today, many people live as though they don’t expect to die. They spend a lot of money trying to eke out a few extra years, even if the quality of those years is not very good. They don’t talk about dying or death, and they don’t take care of things like advanced directives and wills because that means thinking about their own mortality (and some people actually fear that taking care of these things invites death to make an early visit).
The Death Positive movement is trying to change this approach to death. They encourage honest discussions about every aspect of dying and death. Their first goal is to get everybody to think about dying and death.
This is not some morbid obsessional thinking about death. Instead, it’s a concrete and scientific way of examining how people die and what happens when they die. We fear what we don’t know. Because death has become a remote, out of sight, out of mind event for many people, we don’t know what dying and death looks like.
Some of the things that the Death Positive movement encourages are an acceptance of dying and death as part of life, making funerals family-centric, and making sure that meaning rituals and actions are included in the dying process and in the funeral process. These all focus on a dying and death as a collective experience, where grief will be one of the end results, but fear and anxiety of the unknown are eased or eliminated.
The Death Positive movement wants people to see dying and death in positive terms. However, it’s important to understand that seeing something positively and being happy about something are not the same thing. We will be unhappy when someone we love is dying and dies, but by experiencing the dying process and death with a loved one, we can help them and we can gain things that are priceless.
Therefore, the positive aspects of death that the Death Positive movement encourages immerse us in a share dying process and death with our loved ones.
Learning is a positive aspect of this experience. Knowledge replaces fear, and when we understand intimately that dying and death are much harder on the living than they are on the dying, we can be less anxious about our own inevitable demise.
Planning for our deaths is another positive aspect. We don’t have to burden our grieving families with a ton of decision-making and we can have our wishes both in dying and death respected.
Partaking in the care of our loved ones who are dying is another positive aspect of death. We offer comfort, support, help, love, and companionship on their final life journey.
If you’d like to learn about cremation services provided in Rockford, IL, our compassionate and experienced team at Collins & Stone Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit us at our funeral home at 128 S 5th Street, Rockford, IL 61104, or you can call us today at (815) 965-1515.