Cultural Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identifies are denial, anger, bargaining, depression



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Mary Brito 






















There are many ways people deal
with death. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross talked about five stages of grief that us, as
human beings, go through when the topic of death comes up. These five stages of
grief are consciously thought of when dealing with our own impending death or
the death of someone else. The five stages Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identifies are
denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance (Kubler-Ross, 2014). Culture
explains that everyone deals with grief in different ways. Cultures have
different interpretations of death and the way they mourn. We as humans all
deal with our emotions within grieving in our own unique ways. Depending upon
the person the five stages can be experienced in many different orders.

            Denial is usually the first reaction
to an impending death, whether it be your own, or someone else’s. Denial is
usually described as a defense mechanism that is brought upon oneself due to
the shock of death (Axelrod, 2017). When we are not ready to deal with death,
the intense emotions deep within surface in the form of Anger. Anger is usually
the obvious reaction to death. Sometimes we take anger out on people that
usually should not be blamed, especially the person that is dying. Bargaining
takes place when we feel the most vulnerable in the situation (Axelrod, 2017). Depression
can set in at any time, the stages can be felt or experienced in any order, it
can be different for anyone at any time. There are two types of depression, the
first being the reaction to the loss of the person and the second being a more
inner depression that isn’t shared with others. Julie Axelrod explains that
sometimes all we really need at the end of the day is a big hug (Axelrod,
2017). Acceptance is the final of the five stages. Acceptance is something that
can take a person a short to a long amount of time. The more you cope with the
loss is the best thing for a person to do. Allowing yourself to feel grief is
important, resisting will only prolong the process of you being able to move on
with the best intentions (Axelrod, 2017).

            As explained, many different
cultures have different interpretations of death and how people of that
specific culture deal with death. One of the most interesting and fascinating
religions of our time is Scientology. Scientologists believe that humans are
immortal spirits that when they die they move into a new life. When the body
you have begins to not work, your spirit inhabits a new body, the spirit is
called theta. Theta is a spirit that has been attached to bodies in the past
and will continue to attach to new ones in the future. Scientologists send one
of the ministers to visit the person who is dying, to comfort not only the
person but the family. After death the families of the deceased will receive
mourners at home, they sometimes bring cards and flowers. Just like many other
religions or cultures the person who as passed is remembered on special
occasions with visits to their graveside, rare as most scientologists are
cremated. Cremation is the usual end for the body of a scientologists because
the body in a sense does not really matter after death (An Outline of Different
Cultural Beliefs at the Time of Death, 2011).

            Rebirth is what Buddhists believe in;
they believe that when death comes they will be reborn. The Buddhists goal is
to escape the somewhat endless cycle of rebirth and death to receive perfect
peace (An Outline of Different Cultural Beliefs at the Time of Death, 2011). The
monks, nuns or friends prepare for death or after death is to chant from the
scriptures. All bodies of the deceased are treated with as much care and
respect as humanly possible for the spirit to properly move to the new body. Depending
on tradition some Buddhists are buried or cremated. Like other cultures the
grave of the deceased is visited by friends and family. Buddhists believe that
with the physical body lying in the grave, that the spirt has been reborn (An
Outline of Different Cultural Beliefs at the Time of Death, 2011).

            Although there are many differences
within cultures with it comes to death, there are parts of every culture that
have similarities. When it comes to the five stages of grief being denial,
anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, Buddhists and scientologists have
differences within their cultures. Both cultures have a lot of the same ideas
when it comes to being reborn to a different body, but both have differences
when it comes to how the spirts of the deceased move on. Scientologists believe
that once you die, you just simply move your spirit to a new body, Buddhists
believe the same but within the period that your spirit is moving, they handle
your body with love and respect, preparing you for your new life. Buddhists
believe that with respect makes the transition easier for the spirit.

            My Grandfather was catholic and so
are my aunts an uncle. They follow their churches belief on death which I don’t
know anything about. We didn’t do any kind of special ceremonies we just had a
regular wake, then a funeral and we all went out to eat together or if not, we
would cook at a family members house. We all cried differently I didn’t cry
then I waited till I had time alone and I realized that he was never coming
back. We all must take our own time to heal and grieve its not a rushing process
it’s a healing process.

            Grieving is a personal and it has zero-time
limits, there is no right way to cope with death in any type of situation.
Although many different cultures have different interpretations of death and
what happens with you after you are gone, everyone grieves the same. Everyone
deals with the same amounts of emotion, whether it be alone, to yourself or
shared with others. We all go through the five stages at one point or another
after losing someone close to us.














Axelrod, J. (2017, February 19). The 5 Stages of Grief & Loss.
Retrieved March 10, 2017, from


Elisabeth. (2014). Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia, 1p. Retrieved


(2011, September). An Outline of
Different Cultural Beliefs at the Time of Death. Retrieved March 10, 2017, from





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