Death and Grieving Around the World

Picture: "Grief" by Anna Archer (PD)

It turns out that there’s little evidence for the “Five Stages of Grief” you may have heard about in school. There’s even less evidence for any real universality in the way that people express their grief. Be sure to ask for a traditional Cubeo funeral for a send-off everyone will remember. I recommend this as a fitting hymn.

Via The Guardian:

When we look at other cultures we see even starker differences. On the Pacific coast of Colombia the death of a young child will be marked by with a Chigualo celebration, based on the belief that departed infants become angels and go directly to heaven. The Ganda people of south-central Uganda have a strict prohibition of sexual activity during the mourning period, while the Cubeo people of the northern Amazon include sexual activity as part of the wake. Many cultures have funeral rites to ensure that spirits of the departed leave; in an Igbo funeral, the rites are meant to ensure that they stay.

Read the rest.


11 Comments on "Death and Grieving Around the World"

  1. denverover | Dec 3, 2012 at 3:29 pm |

    There are some I would mourn for, while there are others that I could gladly dance on their graves.
    Thus it can be in any culture or subculture, I’m sure.

  2. bobbiethejean | Dec 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm |

    I don’t believe in god or heaven or any of that. I think that when we die, we die. I believe we are living in a cold, godless universe that doesn’t give two shits about us and won’t mourn or even notice our utterly inconsequential deaths when we return to the random scattering of molecules from whence we came.

    It’s an ugly, comfortless view. So I found solace in science. Maybe we’ll conquer death through technology! Maybe we will expand out into the galaxy! Maybe we will live for thousands and thousands of years! Transhumanism will be our salvation! We can earn eternity! we can build heaven for ourselves! Or not. It’s just a dream- the last wild hope of someone who doesn’t want to confront the ugly truth that I too will someday fade into the void like everyone else. Chances are nothing can save us. After all, everything ends. Even the universe will end some day. We can rage against it or we can accept it. Maybe we can even do both.

    I’m still hoping that maybe someday science will save us. But I have no faith in it because science is ultimately human and humans are fatally flawed in so many ways, the least of which is cosmic shortsightedness.

    • Matt Staggs | Dec 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm |

      Ah, HP Lovecraft, there you are! 😉

    • sionvsion | Dec 4, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

      Have you ever tried astral projection bobbiethejean? I was a militant nihilist for years until I started doing experiments with astral projections. I may still be a bit of a nihilist at times because life does seem to be about suffering. Astral projection and remote viewing just caused me to ask more questions about what or who we are. I do have a background in the sciences too. I used to work as a RN in the ICU and now I use chemistry on a pretty regular basis for a product I developed. My little secret is that much of the information I have gotten for my business and for nursing was through astral projection. There is no convincing people of this so I don’t bother. It doesn’t matter to me if people believe it or not anymore. Experiment 1: Close your eyes, visualize something simple like a star in your mind. Any time your mind wanders come back to the star. Practice this without moving your body for at least an hour per day. If you have an inflated ego it won’t work because you won’t be able to get past the feeling of death you go through at the initial stages. I have found that I am only able to do it at times in life when I am more apathetic about living. You can even check out some of the NAS whistleblowers that talk about it a bit.

      • sionvsion | Dec 4, 2012 at 1:23 pm |

        I have to clarify something about what I said. I didn’t get nursing information from the astral realm, just advice from astral bodies. Basically the advice I have gotten from the astral realm has always been superior to any advice I’ve received from any living human.

      • bobbiethejean | Dec 4, 2012 at 6:07 pm |

        When I hear something like this, I turn to the “list of possibilities” in my mind:

        1.) The person has legitimately experienced a supernatural or paranormal event.

        2.) The person is lying.

        3.) The person is misperceiving or confused.

        4.) The person is hallucinating.

        5.) The person is mentally disturbed and/or delusional.

        6.) The person is under the influence of a mind-altering substance.

        So what does all that mean? Does it mean I’m saying you’re nuts or lying or delusional? No, not at all! I wasn’t there. I don’t know you. I didn’t experience what you did. For all I know you really did experience a legitimate supernatural/paranormal event. But I can’t take your word for it because in my life, of all the shit I have encountered, I have never once witnessed anything supernatural or paranormal. There is no precedent for that in my existence. However, there is HUGE precedent for the other possibilities. So for me to believe what you’re saying, I would need to witness it myself. Or failing that possibility, I would need some kind of proof or evidence that could show me the event could not be explained by science or natural phenomena.

        So in my mind, while it’s possible you really do astrally project, any one of the other possibilities are also viable. Again, I don’t know and I simply cannot take your word for it. No offense meant, it’s nothing personal. I am just an extremely skeptical person.

  3. BuzzCoastin | Dec 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm |

    Ghana has the best coffins
    they’re so artistically satisfying that
    no one ever returns to complain

Comments are closed.