Turkish and American Death Practices

Grief is a universal and natural reaction to losing a loved one that has been documented across many cultures and even different species. [1]This makes sense thinking about attachment theory; “grief is a general reaction to separation”. [2] But even though grief is rooted in a reaction common to all people, there is a large amount of diversity when it comes to cultural and religious traditions related to death and bereavement. It is important to define the components of the grieving process in order to compare and contrast cultural differences of grief. There is a difference between grief and mourning. Grief is the emotional and psychological reaction to death, while mourning is the social expressions or acts in response to death. These practices are shaped by culture and society. [3]

The Kübler-Ross psychological model of the five stages of grief—formulated by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross—are considered normal in the Western world. It is broken down into denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and finally acceptance. She created it as a way for terminally ill patients to process their deaths, but now it is applicable to anyone who has lost a loved one as well. [4] Denial is the refusal to come to terms with impending death. Anger occurs when resentment encroaches, and the person begins to ask, “why me?” When there is hope that death can be delayed through negotiating with God, bargaining takes place. Depression begins with hopelessness, and the gravity of the losses that have occurred, and the ones to come. Ultimately, the model ends with acceptance, but this should not be understood as happiness. [5]Rather, it is peace.  This whole process can take months to years. [6] However, there are critiques of the Kübler-Ross model such as misrepresentation of grieving by creating a sequential process instead of a constant one. [7] It can give someone validation if their grieving process aligns with the model’s, but it can also produce negative effects if someone were to feel as though they are not going through the process correctly. [8]

It is especially important for practitioners to be cautious of using these stages of grief as a clear blueprint of the grieving process. However, there are examples of when this grieving process is much shorter. For the Navajo, grieving was limited to four days. After that, the bereaved was expected to move on. [9] Even though an emotional disturbance is to be expected across the world, differences in culture and society can greatly affect expression and duration of said grief. [10]For example, among the Balinese, there is a lack of crying and a prevalence of smiling. This is not due to lack of emotions or feelings of grief, but an attempt to control and contain them. It is believed that grief is harmful to health. On the other hand, in Egypt, the bereaved “dwell profusely on their subjective pain in an atmosphere where…others also immerse themselves in tragic tales and expressed sorrow”. [11]

One aspect to consider when it comes to culture and grief is religion. In the United States, Christianity is the dominant religion that affects how many people understand and deal with death. There is not a generally accepted timeline for grieving in Christianity, but some other religions do have one. Sri Lankan Buddhists usually return to work after 3-4 days. [12]Orthodox Jews sit shiva for 7 days where the bereaved stays at home and loved ones visit. The mourning period after shiva depends on who has died. For a relative it is 30 days, for a parent it is one year, but prolonged mourning is not supported. [13]

Kubler-Ross touches on faith in her model in the bargaining stage, but there is not much discussed beyond pleading with whichever higher power one believes in. Psychologists and psychiatrists must know someone’s background in faith in order to help them grieve. Turkish Muslims, for example, use the five staged model, but there is also an emphasis on sabr—the Arabic word for patience. [14]Muslims believe that all of life and death and everything in between is all from God. They believe they can find strength in God, and that comfort aids in the grieving process. [15]Knowing that a higher power is in control lets people focus on grieving and reaching peace instead of putting energy into questioning God and the unknown.

The dominant religion in Turkey is Islam and many Turkish people rely on religious beliefs and traditions to death with the death of a loved one and the grief that comes along with it. In America, although many rely on religion and prayer to comfort them after the loss of a loved one, there are not nearly as many set rules or practices when it comes to mourning as Islam. [16] In Turkey, it is believed that burial shouldn’t be delayed so that the deceased can give accounts of their deeds in the Hereafter. [17] It is also considered normal to wrap the body in a shroud, and right side of the body is supposed to face Qibla, which is the direction Muslims face while praying. Qibla is the direction facing the Kaaba, the center of the holiest mosque, which is in Mecca. [18] Lights are kept on in the house and Helva (a sweet dessert) is cooked so that the deceased can see the house in light and enjoy the smell of the food. In Turkish beliefs, this is done so that the evil part of the dead doesn’t enter the house.The body is also washed with perfumed soap so that the body is clean and smells pleasant, allowing them to enter paradise. [19]

There is a 40-day restriction on haircuts and shaving during mourning if the person who died was young. You are also not supposed to watch TV, talk loudly or laugh. Talk about the dead person can only be positive, and there are no wedding ceremonies held during mourning. [21]All of these practices and traditions are an attempt to accept and understand the death of a loved one, as well as alleviate grief. There are no limitations on activities or events during mourning in the US. There are fewer guidelines for grief. Although it is common to keep the discussion of the deceased positive, there is no actual restriction on what people can talk about. Although both Christianity and Islam believe in an afterlife and that people either end up in Heaven or Hell based on their actions during their life on earth, there is less discussion of death in Christian communities. For Muslims, death is treated as a part of life, and thus discussed often. In Christian and overall American culture, death is mostly an avoided topic. [22]

The US and Turkey are both countries whose cultures are deeply affected by their religion. This results in some notable differences in expression of grief. Although there are universal aspects of grief, it is clear that culture, especially religion, has a huge impact on what beliefs and traditions are practiced after the death of a loved one.

The Turkish Neurological Society’s Diagnostic Guidelines for brain death and the Miller School of Medicine in Miami, Florida yield similarities in the determination of brain death. The Turkish definition of brain death is the, “loss of all activities of the parts of central nervous system that reside within the skull,” including the brain stem and cerebellum. [23] Under the Uniform Determination of Death Act, the legal definition of brain death is the, “irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.” [24].It is evident that both countries have a solid definition based on the foundation that the damage must be to the brain overall, but specifically brain stem too.

The three main signs of brain death for both countries that should be evaluated are coma, absence of brain stem reflexes, and apnea. [25][26]Both believe that a patient must lack any evidence of responsiveness. Turkey’s criteria holds that there must not be any response to painful stimulation of the temporomandibular joint located on the side of the jaw, or the supraorbital ridge—the brow bridge. It also states that activities such as blushing, sweating, and normal blood pressure sans medication do not imply that brain death should be thrown out. [27]There must be an absence of pupillary response to bright light, ocular movements, facial expressions, and corneal reflexes. [28][29]There should also not be any observable coughing or gagging. To address apnea, both sets of guidelines include the apnea test where in Turkey it is required by law for a specialist to conduct. [30] If the test is positive, and there is not a respiratory drive, then the patient is suggested to be brain dead. Another difference between the countries is the waiting period after the three main signs of brain death have been documented. In the United States, six hours is considered an acceptable duration, but in Turkey, the waiting period is twelve hours for children older one years old or older and adults. [31][32]

In a study of Turkish physicians, it was found that 32.7 % stated they did not regard brain death as “real death.” [33] If the highly educated physicians do not believe it to be, then why would the general population? If brain death is so clearly defined by their own guidelines, there should not be any confusion. They found the skepticism of the public came from lack of information, the media, and the similarities between a coma and brain death. In fact, the public believes that the term “brain death” was created to aid in organ procurement. [34] The uncertainty in Turkey amongst physicians and the general public regarding brain death only confuses those grieving the loss of a loved one, and ultimately makes it harder. The most prominent religion in Turkey is Islam, and some argue that because of religion, they do not accept brain death. [35] 84.5% of physicians stated that more effective education regarding the matter can aid those in grieving a loved one declared brain dead. Which is paradoxical in itself when physicians have so much education, yet some do not accept it themselves, but expect their patients’ relatives to.

The religiosity of American and Turkish peoples can create tensions and inequalities within contexts of grief because of the differences in social rules. Western society revolves around death-denial which, in turn, produces certain social roles that dictate who is exempt from responsibilities during periods of grief, the extent of discussion surrounding death, and who is publically grievable. [36]

The distribution of privileges among populations in Western societies has been historically unequal. Social roles in times of grief include favoring exemptions for those who have lost a child or spouse as opposed to a close friend, male strength, female weakness, as well as other elements of gender socialization. Forms of grief that lie outside of these social norms are subject to public scrutiny, which heightens the despair of those dealing with loss. These social schema act as a sort of injustice to those unable to operate within the confines of socially acceptable grief.

The acceptability of discussion of death and grief differs between the U.S. and Turkey. The U.S. favors stoicism and masking of grief over expression, internalizing oppressive social rules that determine proper forms of grief. The Islamic view of death as a continuation of life limits the need for social desirability and encourages open communication about loss.

American obituaries and Turkish death announcements exhibit the structural inequality present in available expressions of grief. Death announcements differ from obituaries in that they are formulaic and detached statements that serve more so to announce a death than to commemorate or honor the deceased. These very public expressions of grief are spaces of great inequity as the economically underprivileged are unable to express grief in their desired manner. [37] Minorities in Turkey are less equipped to achieve their desired deaths due to institutional inequalities including Turkish refusal to adhere to the Treaty of Lausanne. This treaty “grants not only non-Muslim minorities, but all citizensthe right to use ‘any language … in the press, or in publications of any kind.’” [38] Despite this legislation, Turkish authorities have never allowed minorities to exercise this right. This conflict revolved around native tongues and access to media, conflicts that also exist in the United States but on a lesser scale.

The primary ethical concerns surrounding American and Turkish cultural practices of grief lie in unequal access to full expressions of grief, but concerns of violations of autonomy are also raised in the preparation of bodies for burial and strict grief periods. The varying laws regarding advance directives and living wills among states within the U.S. can make it difficult to ensure that individuals receive the posthumous care they desire, particularly with religious and familial influence. These factors call into question the level of autonomy maintained by the deceased. It is also unclear to what extent Turkish individuals are able to or are comfortable in engaging in forms of burial other than shrouding. The combination of social roles and religiosity can stifle personal ideals of posthumous care. Strict social grief periods are prevalent in Turkey and require that individuals delay life events and abstain from daily activities. Policing of behavior and expressions of grief are forms of autonomy violation that are worsened depending on social and class status.

Both the United States and Turkey abide by the general “total brain death” definition of death. The principle requires individuals to be completely unresponsive in a state of coma, have no brainstem response, and to have an irreversible absence of respiratory or cardiac functioning in order to be declared legally dead. Ethical issues arise as a result of the great variability of execution of the total brain death principle across regions, and conflicting religious ideologies of the family in determining the death of a patient. [39]

Variance in the definition of brain death and its requirements are evident in the uncertainty of the definition among both physicians and the public. As stated, physicians in the United States observe a wait period of six hours after initial testing for brain death, while Turkey requires twelve hours. This variance in waiting periods reveals broader social and medical differences in the acceptability of total brain death as the definition of death. Physicians within the U.S. and Turkey disagree regionally on the merits of total brain death and whether it can be medically applied. Differing definitions and uncertainty of requirements of death leave the fate of patients to a physician’s discretion, without the legal requirement that the total brain death definition be observed. Public skepticism of medical death practices prohibits individuals from actively engaging in their death planning, resulting in a loss of autonomy. How can patients make informed decisions about what happens to them posthumously if the very definition of their death is up for debate? The lack of absolute protection against premature declaration of death leaves patients susceptible to premature organ procurement, a common concern among the U.S. and Turkey.

Arterial spin-labeling (ASL) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) imaging of a 46-year-old healthy woman (top row), a 75-year-old woman with brain death (middle row), and a 20-year-old woman with sudden cardiac arrest. . http://www.ajnr.org/content/36/5/909.

An additional concern that emerges from conflicting definitions of death in medical settings is the influence and level of consideration of conflicting religious beliefs. The majority of Turkish citizens practice Islam while adherence to a form of Judeo-Christian religion is most common in the U.S. [41]Freedom of religion is mandated by the Turkish government which cultivates strong reliance on religious virtues and familial support. In the U.S., a separation of church and state exists, which creates an increasingly secular climate. Within these sacred and secular contexts, a divergence in ethical principle occurs, particularly in the principle of autonomy. Turkish society includes paternalistic medical care in which the family and physician are solely responsible for the medical decisions of the patient. This combination of religious ideology and paternalistic care reduces patient autonomy. The definition of death is further muddied by the influence of familial religious ideals and physician power. In the U.S., there still exists a predisposition to reduced autonomy because of the variance in physician-patient relationship, allowing potential coercion of patients. The issue of conflicting religious values between the patient and caregivers exists in the U.S., but at a lesser extent due to the mandated separation of church and state. [42]

Consideration of the cultural, scientific, and ethical aspects of American and Turkish cultural death practices allows for a comprehensive comparison of the two cultures. The examination of two different cultures reveals the universal experience of death. While social rules, expressions of grief, and definitions of death present major differences between the two countries, the common thread of death and grief is prevalent.

Jenna Thornton

Natasja Brezenski

Siham Sherif

 

[1]Stroebe, Margaret, and Henk Schut. “Culture and Grief.” Bereavement Care 17, no. 1 (1998): 7-11. https://doi.org/10.1080/02682629808657425.

[2]Bowlby, John. Attachment and Loss. Vol 3: Loss: Sadness and Depression.London, UK: Hogarth, 1980.

https://www.abebe.org.br/files/John-Bowlby-Loss-Sadness-And-Depression-Attachment-and-Loss-1982.pdf.

[3]Stroebe, Margaret, and Henk Schut. “Culture and Grief.”1998.

[4]Mahmood, Kaiser. “Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Stages of Dying and Phenomenology of Grief.”  Annals of King Edward Medical University12, no. 2 (2006): 232-233. https://doi.org/10.21649/akemu.v12i2.882.

[5]Mahmood, Kaiser. “Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Stages of Dying and Phenomenology of Grief.” 2006.

[6]Bowlby, John. Attachment and Loss. 1980.

[7]Stroebe, Margaret, Henk Schut, and Kathrin Boerner. “Cautioning Health-Care Professionals: Bereaved Persons Are Misguided Through the Stages of Grief.” Omega- Journal of Death and Dying 74, no. 4 (2017): 455-473. https://doi.org/10.1177/0030222817691870.

[8]Stroebe, Margaret, et al. “Cautioning Health-Care Professionals: Bereaved Persons Are Misguided Through the Stages of Grief.” 2017.

[9]Miller, Sheldon I., and Lawrence Schoenfeld. “Grief in the Navajo: Psychodynamics and Culture.” International Journal of Social Psychiatry 19, no. 3-4 (1973): 187-91. https://doi.org/10.1177/002076407301900305.

[10]Stroebe, Margaret, and Henk Schut. “Culture and Grief.” 1998.

[11]Wikan, Unni. “Bereavement and Loss in Two Muslim Communities: Egypt and Bali Compared.” Social Science & Medicine27, no. 5 (1988): 451-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/0277-9536(88)90368-1.

[12]Bahar, Zuhal; Beser, Ayse; Ersin, Fatma; Kissal, Aygül; Aydogdu, Nihal G. “Traditional and Religious Death Practices in Western Turkey.” Asian Nursing Research 6, no. 3 (2012):107-114. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anr.2012.08.003.

[13]Bahar, Zuhal, et al. “Traditional and Religious Death Practices in Western Turkey.” 2012.

[14]Mehraby, Nooria. “Psychotherapy with Islamic Clients Facing Loss and Grief.” Psychotherapy in Australia 9, no. 2 (2003): 1-8.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238102224_Psychotherapy_with_Islamic_Clients_Facing_Loss_and_Grief.

[15]Mehraby, Nooria. “Psychotherapy with Islamic Clients Facing Loss and Grief.” 2003.

[16]Beaty, Darla D. “Approaches to Death and Dying.” OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying 70, no. 3 (2015): 301-16. https://doi:10.1177/0030222815568962.

[17]Bahar, Zuhal, et al. “Traditional and Religious Death Practices in Western Turkey.” 2012.

[18]Bahar, Zuhal, et al. “Traditional and Religious Death Practices in Western Turkey.” 2012.

[19]Bahar, Zuhal, et al. “Traditional and Religious Death Practices in Western Turkey.” 2012.

[20]Nabi. YouTube. March 19, 2013. Accessed April 09, 2019.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK7WW7Q5ylU.

[21]Nabi. YouTube. 2013.

[22]Nabi. YouTube. 2013.

[23]Turkish Neurological Society. “Diagnostic Guidelines for Brain Death.” Turkish Journal of Neurology 20, no. 3 (2014): 101-104. https://www.journalagent.com/tjn/pdfs/TJN_20_3_101_104%5BA%5D.pdf.

[24]Greer, David M., Hilary H. Wand, Jennifer D. Robinson, Panayiotis N. Varelas, Galen V. Henderson, Eelco F. M. Wijdicks. “Variability of Brain Death Policies in the United States.” JAMA Neurology73, no. 2 (2016): 213-218. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.3943.

[25]Turkish Neurological Society. “Diagnostic Guidelines for Brain Death.” 2014.

[26]University of Miami: Miller School of Medicine. “American Academy of Neurology Guidelines for Brain Death Determination.” Accessed March 25, 2019. http://surgery.med.miami.edu/laora/clinical-operations/brain-death-diagnosis.

[27]Turkish Neurological Society. “Diagnostic Guidelines for Brain Death.” 2014.

[28]Turkish Neurological Society. “Diagnostic Guidelines for Brain Death.” 2014.

[29]University of Miami: Miller School of Medicine. “American Academy of Neurology Guidelines for Brain Death Determination.”

[30]University of Miami: Miller School of Medicine. “American Academy of Neurology Guidelines for Brain Death Determination.”

[31]Greer, David M., et al. “Variability of Brain Death Policies in the United States.” 2016.

[32]Turkish Neurological Society. “Diagnostic Guidelines for Brain Death.” 2014.

[33]Hot, Inci, Elif Vatanoglu, Ahmet Dirican, and Hanzade Dogan. “Attitudes Toward Death and Brain Death Among Turkey’s Physicians: A Brief Research Report.” Omega 59, no.4 (2009): 339-349. https://doi.org/10.2190/OM.59.5.d.

[34]Hot, Inci, et al. “Attitudes Toward Death and Brain Death Among Turkey’s Physicians: A Brief Research Report.” 2009.

[35]Hot, Inci, et al.  “Attitudes Toward Death and Brain Death Among Turkey’s Physicians: A Brief Research Report.” 2009.

36]Harris, Darcy. “Oppression of the Bereaved: A Critical Analysis of Grief in Western Society.” OMEGA -Journal of Death and Dying60, no. 3 (2010): 241-253. https://doi.org/10.2190/OM.60.3.c.

[37]Ergin, Murat. “Religiosity and the Construction of Death in Turkish Death Announcements, 1970-2009.”Death Studies36, no. 3 (2012): 270-291. https://doi.org/10.1080/07481187.2011.553339.

[38]Kurban, Dilek. A Quest for Equality: Minorities in Turkey. Minority Rights Group International, 2007.

http://www.atour.com/government/pdf/MRG-TurkeyReport-MinorityQuestEquality-DeceMber207.pdf.

[39]Greer, David M., et al. “Variability of Brain Death Policies in the United States.” 2016.

[40] Kang, K.M., et. al. “Clinical Utility of Arterial Spin-Labeling as a Confirmatory Test for Suspected Brain Death.” American Journal of Neuroradiology36, no. 5 (2015): 909-914. https://doi.org/10.3174/ajnr.A4209.

[41]Beaty, Darla D. “Approaches to Death and Dying.” 2015.

[42]Beaty, Darla D. “Approaches to Death and Dying.” 2015.

 

 

10 Comments

  1. I find it interesting that Turkey and the U.S. share a similar definition of brain death, even though the acceptance of that definition is not the same, and the guidelines are slightly different. It would be great to learn more about how Turkey’s definition came into existence (i.e. what cultural, historical, societal contexts preceded/shaped it). The influence of social status of the deceased individual over mourning practices is also intriguing- Turkish practice seems to value children or younger people; what does this mean for the elderly and their own place in society? The comparison of religious influence in each country is fascinating, and it raises questions of what other influencing factors played into shaping cultural practices of mourning as well as the religions themselves.

  2. This post does a good job in defining the distinctions between grief and mourning. The information pertaining to the Kubler-Ross model is useful in that defines a process for grieving, but that very process is used to show the variation in mourning across cultures. It is interesting that the definition of brain death is compared against Turkey and the U.S.; however, it is important to note that the predominant religions in these countries are monotheistic. Because monotheistic religions hold much of the same morals, the comparison of mourning of monotheistic vs polytheistic religions would provide a more overarching view of mourning across religions.

  3. Caroline Vincent

    April 20, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Even though death is a universally felt phenomenon, people experience grief in different ways. The social or religious regulation of grief as you mention of groups like the Navajo, Balinese and some groups in Turkey can disrupt the body and the natural process of grief. It would be interesting to research if these groups had any long-term effects of the grief regulation.

  4. I thought this post skillfully intertwined the three aspects of this post, the cultural, the scientific, and the ethical portions. The example of Balinese bereavement practices was especially interesting to me. Personally, I have always thought that too much grief could be detrimental to a person’s well-being, so this sentiment resonated with me. What drew me to this post originally was the desire to learn more about the Turkish culture’s view of death and grieving however it took a few paragraphs before Turkey was ever mentioned. Lastly, I noticed the statistic about Turkish physician’s views of brain death were from a study done in 2009. I wonder if physician’s point of view has changed in this last decade with the advancement of medical technology and they have begun to accept brain death as a legitimate means of death. Overall this post is very informative on how a majority of Turkish culture view grief however I think the post may have gone off on a bit of a tangent about the science behind brain death rather than grief.

  5. I really enjoyed reading this post! Which might be strange to say, given its subject matter, but it was super interesting and well-researched. I’m Christian, and as you mention Christianity is the dominant religion in our little corner of the world, and I never realized how deeply it impacts our mourning processes and how differently other cultures and religions would grieve. In particular, I was interested and surprised to hear about the timeline of mourning, and how there is a timer on your grief in other cultures. I do have a question, though: is there significance to how long the time for grieving is? Your post mentions that the Navajo would grieve for 4 days, Orthodox Jews for 7, Sri Lankan Buddhists for 3-4. Where do these numbers come from? Are they considered ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’ or do they have some cultural significance? I think I will be using some of the sources in your bibliography to do more research into the subject matter myself!

  6. This post was excellent in acknowledging the diversity that comes with cultural practices of mourning and reactions to bereavement and embracing a cross cultural perspective throughout all three angles. I particularly liked acknowledgement of inequality and privilege as factors coming into play when it comes to death and mourning, something we don’t think about and often take advantage of. It could be worth exploring more of that, elaborating on more of the structural inequality mentioned that inhibits people from their desired grief expression. I also liked the descriptions of brain death as a way to compare the two different cultures, but I found some assumptions in the argument that Turkish doctors are paradoxical by not accepting brain death as real death, but still supporting patient education about brain death. You don’t necessarily have to personally agree with brain death as a doctor to advocate for something best for the patient, if you take the paternalistic approach to medical care that Turkish society has practices. I would like to ask too because I’m curious, why choose Turkey? The differences in religion, region, and development are pretty big between Turkey and the U.S., so I could see why someone would pick Turkey.

  7. I really enjoyed reading your post on how death is viewed in Turkish and American cultures. I appreciated that it was an easy read and was worded in a scholarly way but was also plain enough to understand. I especially found it interesting that, with Islam being the dominant religion in Turkey, they put restrictions on grieving and forced people to respond in a certain way, even halting wedding ceremonies so that the grieving process could be done in full. This raises some questions for me– is there a correct way to grieve? Is one way more helpful to humanity than another? Is forced grieving, as we looked at in some cases during lecture, helpful to the process or harmful to the emotions of the people that are forced to grieve? Again, really enjoyed this post.

  8. I liked how detailed this post was in describing and evaluating different modes of grief and mourning from different cultures. When describing the amount of time one is allowed to grieve in certain cultures, such as the Navajo with only 4 days, I wonder if their internal grief is truly limited to this time frame, or are individuals withholding grief publicly outside the time frame their culture permits. What would be a good way to measure this or study this and compare to other cultures.

    You mentioned that “prolonged mourning is not supported.” Did this mean that displays of grief outside a cultural norm are not permitted by others or rather that it’s readily judged by a community?

    I loved how you brought in that certain inequalities within these cultures are aspects that shape mourning practices. Furthermore, I thought the discussion on how Turkey and the US have a similar definition of brain dead but very different relationships with that concept was very enlightening.

    I would have liked to see a deeper discussion on how Christianity specifically doesn’t talk about death as much as Islam incorporates it into life. Because your piece shows that it’s perhaps the overarching American culture that curves the discussion of death rather than religion and Islamic values that “encourages open communication.”

    Overall, I thought your post was interesting and engaging to read. Thanks!

  9. This post did a great job at clarifying the differences between Turkish and American death practices and I appreciated the incorporation of the role of religion in these decisions. I find it fascinating that Turkish people are so hands on with the bodies of those who have died. I think that this is a taboo topic with Americans as we would not want to be close or spend time with a dead body. I love seeing research done comparing and appreciating both forms of death practices!

  10. I really liked that you opened up this post with what we commonly use to measure grieving and then you shared what other cultures did as commonplace instead. It’s so interesting to hear about how others grieve because I thin we can often forget that this varies across people. By setting up these differences your group smoothy transitioned into speaking on the Turkish traditions for death and mourning. I found it especially interesting that in turkey, the bereaved restrict their activities for the 40 day. Although this sounds like a punishment to us, I wonder if it may serve beneficially to help those grieving bond together and almost commiserate and thus are relieved of some grief. I also thought this group brought up an important point when they mentioned that as a cultural difference in Turley they are very open about death in contrast to our own discussions on the topic. This was a very well chosen and well researched topic that helped to introduce cultural differences.

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