How to deal with Death?

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Posted: 13 years ago
I used to have a 28 year old coworker who passed away last summer in an accident. Now this Christmas his family sent us huge cake for all employee and wished us good wishes on the festive season. They had a note on it saying something like- "we were blessed and lucky to have son like him for so many years." They also started this educational scholarship on his name.

Coming to debate-
1.     If a young son in India dies we have so many restrictions for one year. We don't celebrate festivals or laugh or express joy.
2.     We morn for this grown up son's loss for rest of our life.

Why?
1.     Do you think Americans are less attached to their family and thus they get over the loss faster?
2.     Do you think they are more practical and try to move on with life rather easily?
3.     Or you think that Indians are more dramatic when it comes to loss due to death?
4.     Or you see some other reason behind this?

I was first shocked to see his younger brother getting cake for us after 3-4 months of his death. I was touched when they wished us and our family happy new year and blessings on this festive season. I was impressed by their courage. I could not find my answer to the difference between two society. I have also seen at funeral in US that it is not as serious as we make it in India. People, relatives and family do not cry hell out of it and they do tend to make some light jokes and seeing smile on funeral is not a big sin.

So rolling this topic on to you—not sure if anyone here think or have observed similar thing.
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Posted: 13 years ago
This is a loss that no one can bring back. Everyone does go past it as time is a big healer be it in India or in US. Ye sthe difference is Family pattern.
In India we do depend on Son and are more attached to him as he carries the family name. In US there is no such thing. You raise them to a certain time and then they are on their own. There is no expectation. They move on quicker with time. I remember one of my co-worker also lost her husband and she was about 56 yrs. But After couple of months, she was already seeing a guy LOLand I asked her if she missed her ex husband. She said well I need to live beyond my grief. SO I guess , they are more practical and we are more emotional.
The grief of losing a child is same, but it is just taken differently. We cannot seperate them even after they are gone Cry , they never get too involved with their kids any way Tongue
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Posted: 13 years ago
soumwya, great topic!

I think in India it's gotta do alot with reeti-riwaj. Son's have to shave their head. No cooking for 13 days. no festivals etc etc. It's been followed for years now, probabily no one wants to give up that practice. Or, another reason could be to pay respect to the one who passed away.

But it's quite liberal in alot of families today. I remember when my nana passed away 2 years back, we celebrated every festival, and infact celebrated itin the way he liked to! IT was a happy rememberance!

I can't comment about Americans, never left India. But I think, they do have less family centric set-ups than we Indian, for aren't we known for our family bonds? or the lack of them LOL --> it was getting too serious, had to add that! Embarrassed

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Posted: 13 years ago

1. Do you think Americans are less attached to their family and thus they get over the loss faster?

Family is family, whether it's in India or in America. Attachment is always present in a family, otherwise it wouldn't be called so.

2. Do you think they are more practical and try to move on with life rather easily?

In this case, yes, I would say so. I may be wrong but at a personal level I feel that Americans are emotionally stronger than most of the Indians.

3. Or you think that Indians are more dramatic when it comes to loss due to death?

As I said above, I do think Indians are not as emotionally strong as the Americans.

We have known India for ages now to have the most joint families. Therefore, the emotional relationship is always at a greater level. However, Americans are not so emotionally attached with their children. Right after the child graduates from school, he/she moves out of the parents' house and lives alone. As a result, the living distance, gradually also makes distances in the relationships...but these distances are generally seen as very little.

As far as dealing with death, it's best not to think about it. It will do a lot of good if this matter is handled when the time comes. Thinking about it sometimes takes away the motivation to live a happy life and think positively.

Very nice topic indeed Sowmyaaji!Clap

Cheers,

Anjali

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Posted: 13 years ago

Originally posted by sowmyaa


I used to have a 28 year old coworker who passed away last summer in an accident. Now this Christmas his family sent us huge cake for all employee and wished us good wishes on the festive season. They had a note on it saying something like- "we were blessed and lucky to have son like him for so many years." They also started this educational scholarship on his name.

Coming to debate-
1.     If a young son in India dies we have so many restrictions for one year. We don't celebrate festivals or laugh or express joy.
2.     We morn for this grown up son's loss for rest of our life.

Why?
1.     Do you think Americans are less attached to their family and thus they get over the loss faster?
2.     Do you think they are more practical and try to move on with life rather easily?
3.     Or you think that Indians are more dramatic when it comes to loss due to death?
4.     Or you see some other reason behind this?

I was first shocked to see his younger brother getting cake for us after 3-4 months of his death. I was touched when they wished us and our family happy new year and blessings on this festive season. I was impressed by their courage. I could not find my answer to the difference between two society. I have also seen at funeral in US that it is not as serious as we make it in India. People, relatives and family do not cry hell out of it and they do tend to make some light jokes and seeing smile on funeral is not a big sin.

So rolling this topic on to you—not sure if anyone here think or have observed similar thing.

I think we have too many customs, too much of drama associated with death, I hate going to funerals  and avoid going to home's b'cos I cannot keep a smile off of my face when I see an obvious drama

I had been to a funeral where a couple of ladies were wailing away like Tears were going out of fashion, suddenly there was tea that was brought out, well the tears stopped for the duration of the tea and quick gossip and then started back up again

I think we have kind of become de-sensitized to deaths unless it is to a close one, rest all is a custom

I think we feel that, a person passing away is loss that cannot be fulfilled in life, whereas there is no person whose loss is so hugh that life comes to a standstill due to it

Americans(the ones I have seen) in general are practical towards it, see it more of a lessons learnt, perhaps less emotionally attached so less cause of grief

I lost bunch of collegues in 9/11, it was very curious to see a difference in response between Asians(I mean Indians/Pakistanis) and American family members(not even talking about communitiesWink), but will keep that drag this topic offEmbarrassed

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Posted: 13 years ago

Originally posted by sowmyaa




Why?
1.     Do you think Americans are less attached to their family and thus they get over the loss faster? Generally speaking yes.. The americans culture is more indifferent to family structure compared to an Indian or even an Asian in an equivalent state....Its just the way they are... cant help them...Not without reason.. kids end up with 10 fathers, 2 mothers, or two fathers or mothers for parents or.. single parent
2.     Do you think they are more practical and try to move on with life rather easily? They find it much easier.... to move on cause they grow up all exposed to the realities unlikes indians who mostly are holding on to the apron strings... until atleast they are 21...
3.     Or you think that Indians are more dramatic when it comes to loss due to death? Not dramatic.. honest since thats the way htey been brought up.. An indian is more likely to feel more insecure than an equivalent american at a loss of a loved one... even though we have some hope in reincarnation....which americans dont have... we are more closely knit... we have more vicarious hurt when someone veri close is hurt... here it not so... Ok let me summarize........... We start life with the idea that we are immortal.. americans start with the idea that they can die any instant.. which makes them more practical......and us more ideal.Smile
4.     Or you see some other reason behind this? Cultural, racial differences thats it....

Though the questions u asked are pretty standard... u put it in a veri nice and precise way... good thread soumya....Smile

I

Edited by qwertyesque - 13 years ago
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Posted: 13 years ago

Originally posted by Swar_Raj


 
In India we do depend on Son and are more attached to him as he carries the family name.  

Well said. In India parent grieve on son's death more because of socio-economical factors. Sons are considered pride of the family. They are the main bread earners of family. There is so much expected from them, that their loss is mourned more, compared to daughters. In America, most of parents are not dependent on their sons' support in their retired age. 

But it's ironical considering the fact that the Hindu holy text Geeta talks about Karma, detachment and put so much emphasis on "body dies, soul never die" bla bla…and still death is not being perceived as one of sad but factual transitions of life.

 

 

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Posted: 13 years ago
Originally posted by sowmyaa


I used to have a 28 year old coworker who passed away last summer in an accident. Now this Christmas his family sent us huge cake for all employee and wished us good wishes on the festive season. They had a note on it saying something like- "we were blessed and lucky to have son like him for so many years." They also started this educational scholarship on his name.

Coming to debate-
1.     If a young son in India dies we have so many restrictions for one year. We don't celebrate festivals or laugh or express joy.
I can only hope that it will change over the years.  In some parts, it already has, while in some places, there is still SATI happening DeadDeadDead . mera bharat mahaan!

2.     We morn for this grown up son's loss for rest of our life.
The pain will never part and it is but natural! 

Why?
1.     Do you think Americans are less attached to their family and thus they get over the loss faster?
absolutely not!  But since growing up, they have visited funerals and they know what funerals are meant to be - celebration of life that has ended.

2.     Do you think they are more practical and try to move on with life rather easily?
it is probably not meant for being practical, but just the way their customs are!  In our eyes, it looks more practical.  The thing is their mourning is equally emotional, yet the over all reaction and behaviour seems practical to us.

3.     Or you think that Indians are more dramatic when it comes to loss due to death?
They are just more dramatic.  May it be baby birth, wedding, or death.

4.     Or you see some other reason behind this?
They just try to bring positive energy into what they lost.  Through the colleagues, close friends, relatives of the dear departed, perhaps they are holding on to him!  ClapClap .  A hard thing to do I must say!

So rolling this topic on to you—not sure if anyone here think or have observed similar thing.


Thanks Sowmyaa for a brilliant topic.
subha di
Edited by mermaid_QT - 13 years ago
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