Religion - Aging, Death, and Dying
Gracefully Greying explores how various religions deal with aging, death and dying. Many of us will turn to religion and spirituality for answers and comfort in times of sickness or the loss of a loved ones.
One of the goals as we continue to build our gracefully greying community is to interview representatives of many religions, learn how they deal with the important issues of death, dying, and mourning, as well as the aging process in general. As we start thinking about what happens to us after we pass away, we seek answers.
For example, in an interview with Rabbi Joshua Bennett from Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, Michigan, we discussed Jewish traditions regarding death and dying. One thing I learned from Rabbi Bennett is that in Judaism, and Islam as well, the funeral and burial of the deceased are done as quickly as possible. Historically, in the hot climates of the Middle East, the deceased would not remain in a good state for very long, therefore quick burial was crucial. In most branches of Christianity, in northern and cooler regions of the world, the funeral and burial are done after several days of mourning as the body stays in a more preserved or natural state longer. We will explore the view points from other branches of Christianity, Catholicism, practices in the Islamic faith, as well as Hinduism and Buddhism.
A comprehensive article Religion, Spirituality, and Health Status in Geriatric Outpatients published by the National Institute of Health, focuses on a study exploring the effects of religion and spirituality on the health status of older adults in a community-dwelling geriatric population. The conclusion reported greater spirituality, but not greater religiosity, are more likely to appraise their health as good. The complete report is fascinating.
Please share your personal experiences for future guests and topics in the area of religion and its impact, as we continue to live our lives fully.