Recently, I read an article in a finance magazine in
which the author mentions there are 2 issues that the
Chinese parents are unwilling to talk about: money and
sex! The paradox is that both of them are indispensable
in our lives but they avoid to educate children about
In fact, in addition to the above-mentioned
duo, the Chinese families also feel uncomfortable to
talk about death, let alone the death education.
In daily lives, we always get chances
to deal with the death and hence are affected, in particular
for youngsters. Sometimes, they even feel anxious about
it. Thus the death education is really a top priority
to be handled immediately.
I would like to bring up some outlines
for death eduction in a book named "Thanatology and
Death Education" by Zhang Sue-may:
1. The nature and meaning of death:
a) Philosophical, ethical and religious
approaches to death and on the verge of death.
b) The definitions of death related
to medical, psychological, social and legal aspects.
c) The "process" and cycle of death;
the process of ageing.
d) The taboo of death
e) The cross-cultural comparison of
2. The attitudes towards death and the
verge of death:
a) The feeling of death varing from
Children, youngsters and adults.
b) The development of lives by children.
c) The gender and death.
d) Undestanding and care for relatives.
e) Death and condolence.
f) Preparation for death.
g) The arts describing death.
h) Psychological comfort for Widows,
widowers and orphans.
3. Handling death and the verge of death:
a) Explaining death concept to children.
b) Looking after serious-illed relatives:
the concept of hospice.
c) The Donation and trasplant of organs.
d) The business of death: Funeral and
e) Legal issues regarding death.
f) The variations of styles between
living and death.
4. Ad hoc issues:
c) Accidental death and violence.
5. The Implementation for death education:
a) Its development and mode of operation.
b) The course development and reflection.
c) Its research and practical application.
In foreign countries, the death education
is a meaningful social service, with the goal of bringing
more warmth to society. It is hoped that the death education
in Chinese society is not a kind of taboo, but a way
to promote correct and decent attitude towards death!