The his­tory of mourn­ing

In the Moment - - Wellbeing -

Un­til the turn of the last cen­tury, dy­ing was openly dis­cussed and the cus­toms and prac­tices re­lat­ing to death and griev­ing played an im­por­tant role in our cul­ture.

The dev­as­ta­tion caused by the World Wars, how­ever, led to a re­luc­tance to dis­cuss death or dy­ing as openly, and the di­a­logue and rit­u­als de­clined as a re­sult.

A longer life ex­pectancy also has a part to play. Most of us will ex­pe­ri­ence an ‘ex­pected’ death in the dis­tant fu­ture, and may well spend our last days in a hospi­tal. Dy­ing in hos­pi­tals, hos­pices and aged care fa­cil­i­ties, rather than at home as was done be­fore, has dra­mat­i­cally changed the way in which death is ex­pressed and how dy­ing is ex­pe­ri­enced in our so­ci­ety. We’re more re­moved from mor­tal­ity than ever be­fore.

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