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What else is there to say?

"Kicked the bucket", "gave up the ghost", "bought the farm", or "took a dirt nap" are only a few of the host of popular euphemisms for death.

Death - the great taboo

Halloween in the US and Europe, and Mexico's Day of the Dead have for centuries developed highly ritualized customs that often poke fun at ghosts, goblins, and the grim reaper.

Today, teens and kids in Western culture rarely think about death unless it features in a popular novel, television show, or weepy Hollywood film.

also see in Holidays:

Day of the Dead

Even in polite adult conversation, death remains a taboo subject — fit only for religious leaders officiating at a funeral, or by heads of state honoring the fallen with quotes about death in the abstract.

For many, death occasionally becomes personal only when we attend a funeral service for a friend or loved one, or become responsible for hospice care for a friend or family member.

Then we'll rage against a system that Mother Nature has devised as unfair, leaving us angry and confused, but mostly speechless and uncomprehending.

Or we may just accept the fact that death is the end of a natural cycle and, closer to home, something over which we simply have no control.

And in the end...

also see in Society:

Coping with grief
Funeral etiquette
Funeral poems & readings

Of course, whether we admit it or not, most of us fear the "malady for which there is no cure," cryogenics notwithstanding.

Besides a practical cure for overpopulation, many philosophers agree that the journey from birth to death are the bookends between which we write our life stories.

In the end, death becomes the final "period" to our life sentence that motivates us to at least try to do good, and which gives our lives real meaning.

Riches and fame are fleeting, but the legacy we leave behind can only be the fond memories of our cherished existence by those closest to us.

The right to die

Meanwhile, taking personal responsibility over our own deaths has caused controversy as other voices give rise to a growing popularity for euthanasia. One of the thorniest issues facing 21st century law and medicine, the right to die movement poses ethical questions about control over the various methods of dying now at our disposal, and when or where they may be used.

So — is dying in God's hands? Or is it the medical establishment, the legal system — or a personal decision each of us should have a right to make?

More about death and dying around the Web:

Around the Web, learn more about what others say about the meaning of life, death and dying along with practical tips and advice on funeral planning, coping with grief, resources for finding hospice care for the terminally ill, and more on the current controversy surrounding euthanasia and the right to die movement:

Death - Wikipedia - A complete overview including a history of attitudes toward death from ancient times to the present, with more on the biological process of death and dying with signs, symptoms and causes, suggested reading list, related references and resources.

Death And Dying - An extensive guide to death from Mental covering the emotional, physical and financial aspects of death including how to prepare, symptoms of grief, and funeral etiquette, FAQ, helpful community forum, suggested reading and related news and resources.

Death & Grief Resources - A archive including stories and essays on Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and other philosophies and religious teachings, plus tips on dealing with grief and emotional healing, euthanasia, funeral services, and related topics.

Coping with End of Life Issues - A complete library of feature stories on coping with fears, grieving and loss, caring for a dying family member or loved one, how to's and tips for talking with a dying person, biblical and religious teachings on the afterlife, dealing with the loss of a pet, and related discussions on death in literature, the movies and pop culture.

also see in Society -> World Religions

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