TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

How can we know and study more about life and death?

There are a huge number of sciences that study this subject, but It's really difficult to choose one and make new purposes and suggest new ideas, so I wanna know how do we start to study more about this subject.

Topics: death humanity life

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Dec 17 2013: Hello Isadora, and welcome to TED conversations!

    This topic is particularly meaningful for me today because my brother died last night.....it is the second brother who died this year.

    I think/feel being open to ALL available information is important when learning more about the life/death cycle. Observation, and truly "being" in the moment with each and every interaction in the life adventure, seems important to me. In my experience, when we face death, either ourselves or our loved ones, we have the opportunity to learn more about life. And when we truly experience life by being fully present in the moment, facing the death part of the cycle seems less traumatic.
    • thumb
      Dec 17 2013: My condolences to you and your family, Colleen. I agree with you that a life lived well, with love generously bestowed and accepted, makes facing death less traumatic. I believe too that it is never too late for those who may have lost their way to focus on what matters.
      • thumb
        Dec 17 2013: Thank you Fritzie, and I agree.....it's never too late to focus on what really matters:>)
    • Dec 22 2013: Colleen. I'm replying to you because you have made some thoughtful and helpful comments on this subject which is so little discussed, thought of, regarded, contemplated and so forth in our modern industrial society but which appears to have been more central to older societies.

      Yubal in his comment above said we "cannot catch or know in real-time the very moment of our death". Well I don't know exactly what the definition Yubal might have in mind about real-time - but almost exactly one year ago my wife died. As she was talking her last breath she made a gesture with her arm which showed me and the two great friends in the room that she knew it was her last breath. I can't find the right words for the power and grace she was communicating to us as she made that effort at the moment she was passing into.......????

      My reaction to Mr. Cave's talk - on this point - is that he might not have considered that perhaps one's entire life is summed up not by the action or inaction we have taken in the world - but as a preparation for the moment of one's death??

      I'm aware that there are "Death Cafes" popping up at different locations in the U.S. where people can come together and simply discuss death - I've attended one "Cafe" and based on my experience can recommend it to others.

      Thanks Isadora for starting this conversation.

      Best Wishes to all.
      • thumb
        Dec 23 2013: Hello Sean,
        Thank you for the kind feedback, and I am sorry about your loss. I believe we are beginning to contemplate death and dying a little more now. As Alex points out, there are classes and lots of reading materials available.

        Sorry, I do not understand Yubal's comment about "real time". Perhaps he will clarify?

        I believe people often decide when they are ready to die. I have seen, so many times in the terminal care facility where I volunteered, that people often wait until a certain person comes to see them, wait until something is resolved....etc.

        I spent a lot of time with my brother who died last week, and we talked about death. Recently, I was traveling for 10 days. He was taken to ICU a couple days after I left, and I was in touch with him and the nurses on the floor as I traveled. He was in and out of ICU all that time....appearing to be a little more stable.....then declining....stabilizing....declining....back and forth...

        When I returned home, another brother and I visited him in ICU and spent the day with him. It was exhausting for him to talk, but he kept making eye contact with me and winking. He also made a gesture with his hand that appeared to say I am finished. When we left him that afternoon, another friend visited, and he told her that he was finished. She left, and right after that he died.

        I believe that we often do an evaluation of our life experience as we face death. Perhaps this is what you refer to when you say our life is summed up in preparation for the moment of our death?My observation, is that if one has lived a life that is content, the death process is less traumatic. It is generally regrets that keep a person agitated, distressed, or uncomfortable with the dying process.

        This conversation will close soon, and if you want to continue a discussion after it closes, you are welcome to contact me through the TED e-mail system.
    • thumb
      Dec 23 2013: Dear Colleen, I do care about you, but, I do not have enough words to express my feelings.

      You are remembered in my prayers every morning before 7:30am.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.