Pre-thinking

In America, in the 21st century, how do we think of death. According to Rebecca Brown we see it as unnatural, and obscene. As you watch and listen be aware of the evidence that she presents. Think about your own perception of dying and death.

Who is she

Rebecca Brown is the founder and director of Streetlight, a support program for young people who are living with a chronic illness or fear of an early death., She has worked with adolescents in the community for almost 30 years, first through a church-based program and now through the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida and Shands Childrens Hospital.

Why should you listen

She challenges our American discomfort with death by sharing experiences from her work with hospitalized adolescents and young adults who are suffering or dying. She suggests that our “pornographic” relationship with death creates fear, anxiety, and loneliness for those who are dying

Discussion Questions

1. How were the doctors impacted by their exposure to the work that she explains in the first 5 minutes of the presentation.

2. What was the major theme of Gorer’s article titled “The Pornography of Death”?

3. Do some research to see if her statement about violence and death, as presented on TV, is true. As a alternative research project, take a look at popular video games – how do they handle dying and death?

4. She stated that many years ago everyone was exposed to real death (aunts, uncle,s grandparents and so on). What has altered in our society to shift this?

5. What can you learn about life, and dying from the story of Matt?

Don’t Mean to Dwell on This Dying Thing: Rebecca Brown

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