Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: June 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963978 | Print ISBN: 9781412909280 | Online ISBN: 9781412963978| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Death and Dying
Dorothy S. Becvar
Death describes the cessation of life, and dying speaks to the manner in which death occurs. Although these are simple concepts to understand intellectually, the realms of personal experience and counseling to which they refer are quite complex. As noted by Schneidman, death entails many contradictions given the various ways in which it may be perceived. For some death is the destroyer, for others it is a redeemer. Similarly, it may be seen as both the greatest cruelty and as a means of release. Whereas fear of death tends to be universal, there are those who actively pursue it. Despite the reality that all are subject to death, each person's experience is unique. We live with the fact of our death from the moment of birth and yet have little knowledge of the phenomenon. We thus tend to be fascinated by the subject even as we fear it. During the ...