I had an interesting lecture this evening. It’s about death, loss, and bereavement. In the beginning, I was thinking – how is it going to have something to do with education? Well, that is why it’s interesting.
Talking about death from different cultural points of view is interesting. And it is almost unbelievable how the concept of death, loss, and bereavement change historically. It was just never occurred to me, really. But how it is then connected to education is almost as bizarre. But then, hey, it’s not learning when you don’t have any cognitive dissonance, isn’t it?
However, here is my thought..
As any other concepts in the world, death concept is highly cultural. Looking back at my own culture and my experience, it is difficult to find the real conception of death explicitly explained. It is avoided as in taboo. Talking about death, especially to children is regarded inappropriate. Parents specifically ask teachers not to talk about death, especially to children who experience bereavement. WHY?
Yes, why? While on the other hand, other kind of loss which isn’t death, such as divorce, is often explained to children as death. Why is it? Is divorce then regarded worse than death so that children should not know about it and they better of with explanation about death?
Maybe, death is a simple answer. It doesn’t have any moral implication – right or wrong questions following it. Death is just.. death. Especially when then it is linked into religious explanation. Well maybe then.. death is an easy out.
What is going to happen then, if children are exposed with the idea that death is an easy out? They will find death as a solution for their problem. It’s easy – without thinking about the implication of it. There was this news about a primary school boy who attempted to commit suicide because his love was rejected by a girl he liked. This is a really good example about how death is seen as a quick fix to a problem.
This thought was just occurred to me during the class. Well then maybe, maybe.. it is the fact that the concept of death, loss, and bereavement is not thoroughly explained to children that they not only don’t understand about death and its friend but they also don’t understand about the meaning of being alive. When the concept of death is dead, how are children going to understand about being alive?
Mar 15, 2013