American's don't deal with death very well
One of the things that is interesting to me from the material that we read is that American's really don't deal with death very well. I agree with that, and think that we tend to ignore death and push it out of our minds until it confronts us or someone we love. I think that by including terminal illness, aging and death as an accepted part of our lives, we might be better able to cope with the hard emotions when the time comes. Children, and even adults, tend to learn about death only when they experience a loved one’s death.
I’m reminded of my grandmother’s death when I was a teenager. The rest of my family was out of town, and since it was Easter, I went to visit my grandmother where she lived in a nursing home. She was unresponsive, but at that point I didn’t understand much about death, and didn’t have any previous personal experiences with it. I thought she was probably just sleeping. I also noticed that the skin on her arm was different than it had been before; not just "old", but mottled and discolored, too. It was odd to me, since I'd never seen anything like that before, but didn’t think much of it. I wish I had known that it was a normal part of dying, and a sign that the body was beginning to shut itself down. Had I known, I would have spent more time with her that day. It turned out to be the last time I saw her.