chapter  1
Children and death
Pages 6

In society today there is a much greater trend towards open discussion of death and the dying process than there was twenty, or even ten years ago, and yet a pervasive discomfort with the topic still exists. The reality of death is brought home nightly in evening news. Death is televised to us from Eastern Europe, Tian An Men Square, and the Middle East. Increasingly, the number of deaths and fear of death from diseases such as AIDS has forced many adults to face their own mortality. But in spite of this increased exposure, some people still tend to repress the thoughts and emotions death arouses. The desensitization that comes with viewing carnage in movies such as Rambo and Total Recall fuels the fantasies of invincibility that many people entertain, just as the re-appearance of many 'dead' performers in the visual media perpetuates a wish to deny personal mortality. While there has been a trend to more open discussion of death and to more support for the dying and their loved ones, such as the hospice movement and bereavement groups, many adults retain a fear, a wish to avoid both the dying and the bereaved.