BEHS 380 Week 8: Future Trends and Facing Mortality

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BEHS 380 Week 8: Future Trends and Facing Mortality

BEHS 380 Week 8: Future Trends and Facing Mortality

Future Trends and Facing Mortality

Change is an inevitable universality across time that affects various aspects of life including death, dying, and bereavement. Technological advancement has played a significant role in this change which is expected to further progress into the future. This possibility was particularly supported by the onset and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 containment measures caused societal disruptions in the routine activities surrounding death and bereavement such as religious or cultural mourning practices, funeral arrangements, and physical social support (Stroebe et al., 2020). The requirements to minimize social interactions resulted in limited attendance at funerals which result in social isolation and loneliness among the bereaved. This made the grieving process more challenging. Where possible, remote attendance through various technological approaches was utilized.

The technological evolution of death and mourning rituals is not a new concept. Studies have revealed a notable transition of death and mourning practices from physical settings to virtual spaces (Hamid et al., 2022). This promotes the possibility of integration of virtual reality in the grieving process which has been hindered by factors such as limited clinical hypotheses and specific guidelines, lack of information or evaluation for possible unintended psychological risks and harms, and lack of supporting sound scientific research evidence (Pizzoli et al., 2021). The integration of virtual reality interventions in conventional therapies for dealing with grief can be tailored from the existing successful application of the same other fields such as in the management of anxiety disorders.

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Virtual reality interventions can foster closeness between the bereaved and the deceased. This will enable the bereaved to process and express loss-related emotions and memories thus facilitating peaceful closure as well as adequate coping with and acceptance of the permanent loss of a loved one (Pizzoli et al., 2021). This will require targeted strategies to ensure the safety of virtual reality interventions in that no psychological harm or other adverse effects befall the users. Such measures can include continuous user monitoring and additional targeted studies to assess the suitability, safety, and effectiveness of the interventions.

Certain technological resources are already in place to aid in grieving and mourning. These include active memorial websites, interactive virtual support groups, online counseling and psychotherapy, and appropriate online information on how to deal with grief and loss (Westerlund et al., 2018). Social media influence can also motivate bereaved individuals to grieve and offer benefits such as bonds and support from other users including those with similar predicaments (King et al., 2022). Individuals from the global audience can share beneficial grieving information and virtually share and express their thoughts and feelings throughout the stages of grief.

Other perceived benefits of online grieving exist in addition to the support from the global online community. This includes the availability of invisibility and anonymity of users which enable individuals to easily express personal information and sensitive matters such as loss (Spiti et al., 2022). The result is an adequate acknowledgment of one’s situation and the validation of intense emotional experiences. This technological aspect of death, grief, and bereavement should be explored further to maximize the potential benefits. Arising moral and ethical dilemmas should be countered appropriately.

BEHS 380 Week 8: Future Trends and Facing Mortality References

Hamid, W., Jahangir, M. S., Khan, T. A., & Maqbool, T. (2022). Role of technology in restructuring the traditional practices around death and mourning in Kashmir. Death Studies, 46(4), 832–841.

King, R., & Carter, P. (2022). Exploring young millennials’ motivations for grieving death through social media. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, 7(4), 567–577.

Pizzoli, S. F., Monzani, D., Vergani, L., Sanchini, V., & Mazzocco, K. (2021). From virtual to real healing: A critical overview of the therapeutic use of virtual reality to cope with mourning. Current Psychology.

Spiti, J. M., Davies, E., McLeish, P., & Kelly, J. (2022). How social media data are being used to research the experience of mourning: A scoping review. Plos One, 17(7).

Stroebe, M., & Schut, H. (2020). Bereavement in times of covid-19: A review and theoretical framework. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying, 82(3), 500–522.

Westerlund, M. U. (2018). The usage of digital resources by Swedish suicide bereaved in their grief work: A survey study. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying, 81(2), 272–297.

There are two parts to this week’s discussion.

Part 1

Over the past 2 months, we’ve addressed many issues and topics related to End of Life Issues and Perspectives. We have seen how many aspects of death and dying vary across time and across cultures.

Technology plays an important role in these changes. Based on this week’s Learning Resources, as well as what you have learned in the class so far, what is one significant change related to death, dying, and bereavement that you think might happen over the next decade?

You can choose any issue or phenomenon that interests you. An excellent response will be at least 2-3 paragraphs in length, using complete sentences and concise language. Please cite at least 2 of this week’s Learning Resources in your response.

Please be sure to use APA citations in your text and to include your reference list. When you refer to and/or discuss any resources, you need to include a citation for that source, such as: (Braincraft, 2015). For more info on APA style, visit the APA Citations and Style module in this online classroom.

Part 2:

The study of death and dying compels us to think about life and living. In Week 7, we saw that being proactive about death planning is as much about living on your own terms as it about putting your affairs in order. Undoubtedly, addressing the practical aspects of death reduces headaches for those who are left behind. But beyond wills and estates, our exploration of death inevitably raises questions about legacy. Once we are gone, how will we be remembered?

The second part of this discussion is to compose your own obituary. This can be an obituary that reflects your life thus far, or an aspirational obituary that reflects the life you want to be remembered for. Don’t know where to start? Search the Internet for tips on writing an obituary (remember to cite any references you use). You do not need to include any details that you don’t have (e.g. date or cause of death) and there is no length requirement. It can be as short or as long as you like.

Once you have written your obituary, analyze it. What does this statement about death say about what is important to you in life? Are you “living up” to your obituary?

Your initial post is due on Sunday evening at 11:59 p.m. ET. In addition to your main post, please respond to at least 2 other students’ posts by Tuesday evening at 11:59 p.m. ET. You can react to Part 1, Part 2, or both. When responding to other students’ posts, make an effort to refer to something specific from the Learning Resources and/or and idea or an example that adds to the dialogue. Refer to the syllabus for more details about discussion participation.


One primary post (New Topic) as your initial discussion post thread – min. 200 words/post Two secondary responses (Respond) to classmates – min. 100 words/post

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