This is death in history: either a figure dies nobly, dignified or otherwise, or they hoped to bring everything they accumulated on earth to the afterlife. The few records of how the public reacted are often about public outcry, whether of joy or sadness, and never about how it affected individuals. For sure, the people close to those who passed felt a void in their life.
For anyone, including you, who lost someone, the pain must feel unbearable at times. It is a pain immeasurable, and is probably the worst feeling in the world. To be conscious of such a loss is never a good thing for your physical and mental well-being — but science says otherwise. There is evidence that even though death is an overtly negative thing, being aware of it is actually beneficial.
Turning It Around
Studies that explored the effect of terror management theory (TMT) all ventured into how it becomes a ‘bleak force of social destruction’. After all, those historical figures who feared death so much lashed out so bad it defined their legacy. With that legacy, then the past tells us to avoid death at any turn, even turning a blind eye to it.
But, as all people know, it is not possible to overlook death. A major American university says that you do not have to because being aware of death actually results in positive behaviour. This study from the University of Missouri states that getting in touch with mortality, whether by experience or through the environment, has an adverse effect: improved helping manners.
They used previous studies as references, primarily a 2008 entry to Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. The research found out people passing cemeteries, such as in Brisbane’s CentenaryMemorialGardens.com.au, urged people to assist a stranger. They hired an actor to play the stranger, but still, it shows the immediate effect of death on the living.
Not That Easy
For all the good things about the study, it is inadvisable to suggest it to someone who recently lost someone. If you did or someone close to you did, then take some time before trying anything. Reminiscing about a loved one is helpful, especially remembering the good things about them. If enough time has passed, then it may be easier to be more optimistic.
It is never easy moving forward from death. But, it may help people to know that there really is a brighter side after all the sadness.