Many physical and psychological symptoms accompany the end of life. In one study, 1,000 cancer patients had a median of eleven symptoms during the terminal phase of illness, many of which affect the patient's quality of life.
Death is the greatest mystery of life. Its inevitability has been a source of wonder, fear, hopefulness, and puzzlement throughout history.
In Chinese, the term Tao, or Dao, which means "way," can refer to phenomena as disparate as the proper mode of conduct in society to an abstract, transcendent order to the universe. Similarly, the Western term Taoism (or Daoism) refers to a number of distinct phenomena in China, all related in some sense to this concept of Tao.
The Anglican bishop and writer Jeremy Taylor (1613–1667), one of the key exemplars of pastoral care and a gifted writer, was born and educated in Cambridge, England. He was ranked by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge as the equal of Shakespeare and Milton.
What is fantasy one day may be reality the next. The Human Genome Project and cloning are the twenty-first century's newest ventures into the relationship of technology and death.
Terrorism refers to the illegitimate use of violence or intimidation to advance a group's interests. Examples include detonating explosives in public places, taking hostages, or assassinating politicians.
On the morning of September 11, 2001, four commercial jets departed from three airports for their scheduled flights. Within two hours each of the planes had crashed.
While self-preservation is common to all species, the awareness of one's own mortality characterizes only human beings. This awareness presents a difficult problem for humans: how to manage the terror that accompanies this type of knowledge.
Thanatology is the study of dying, death, and grief. This study encompasses thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and events.
Thanatomimesis is the simulation of death by a living creature. Perhaps the best-known example is "playing possum." Hunters and campers have observed that opossums sometimes feign death when threatened.
It is no surprise that dramatists throughout history have drawn such creative inspiration from the subject of death and dying. Because of the difficulty of confronting this topic on a personal level, death as portrayed on the stage remains a powerful magnet for theater audiences.
In 438 C.E. the Roman emperor Theodosius II (408–450 C.E.) published, in a single volume (codex in Latin), the general laws of his Christian predecessors beginning with Constantine I (306–337 C.E.).
The phrase "Thou shalt not kill" is well known throughout the world as one of the Ten Commandments. Originating in the Books of Exodus and Deuteronomy, this phrase was originally given to Moses and the Israelite people by God as one of the great commandments and is found in the holy scriptures of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
Americans dangle from hang gliders and parachutes; they race their cars, powerboats, snowmobiles, and dirt bikes; they stand on their hands upon skateboards, climb rocks without safety ropes, and pay to bungee-jump off towers. Less adventurous "adrenaline junkies" ride roller coasters with lethal-sounding names like Roaring Lightning or Big Death.
Since its first English translation in 1927, the Tibetan guide to spiritual and mental liberation called the Bardo Thodol has been known in the West as the Tibetan Book of the Dead. The book has reappeared in several English-language versions since then, some based only loosely on the original.
When the supposedly unsinkable luxury liner Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in April 1912, killing 1,513 people, the disaster altered Western civilization's confidence in the very notion of progress. The Titanic's doom has been exactingly recounted and re-created in countless books and documentaries, a Broadway musical, and three major motion pictures, the last of which, Titanic (1997), set records at the box office.
Death has inspired some of the world's most imposing and monumental architecture. Two of the seven wonders of the ancient world were tombs: the great pyramids of Egypt and the mausoleum of Halicarnassus.
The fire that swept through the Triangle Shirtwaist Company on March 25, 1911, caused 146 deaths. Not only was it New York City's worst factory blaze ever, it was the second deadliest of any kind (after the General Slocum conflagration), and one of the worst disasters to afflict a group of workers since the advent of the Industrial Revolution.
Historians document that vampires have most often been reported as inhabitants of shallow graves in the Eastern European countryside. Bram Stoker portrayed Dracula (1897), most renown of all revenants, as master of a gloomy and forbidding castle.
The eldest of nine children of an Anglican Church minister, Edward Chad Varah was born on November 12, 1911, in the small town of Barton upon Humber, County of Lincolnshire, England. He went on to read natural sciences at Keble College in Oxford, and later studied at the Lincoln Theological College, where he was ordained as a priest by the Church of England.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a tribute to the dead of the United States' longest, most unpopular, and least successful war. Like the war itself, this memorialization was highly controversial, but the site has become the most frequently visited memorial in Washington, D.C., drawing over 4 million visitors annually.
In Byzantine icons and Western medieval art, the most common deathbed scene is that of the Virgin Mary. In her study of Marian iconography, Gertrud Schiller reproduced more than 100 images of Mary reclining in bed surrounded by the apostles who grieve, pray, and in late medieval art perform the rites for the dying.