Healing, Growing, Dying in Chapter a Broader Essay

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healing, growing, dying in chapter "A broader view healing" Margaret Coberly argues dying a healing process -discovery. We find a similar claim coming Mwalimu lmara essay "Dying Last Stage Growth" asserts: "dying stage life experienced profound growth event total life's experience.

According to Mwalimu Imara's essay "Dying as the Last Stage of Growth," rather than rejecting death as abnormal (for death comes to us all) or fearing death, death should be viewed as simply another stage of life. Imara recounts the experience of a woman who said that she lived more fully in the last months of her life than she did throughout her entire existence, because only then was she able to appreciate the goodness in people and open herself up enough to be emotionally vulnerable (Imara 1975: 154). The same could be said of Leo Tolstoy's character Ivan Ilyich.

Throughout most of his life, Ilyich is an ambitious, grasping man, doing anything he can to get ahead professionally. He believes his wife and children love him, but they really only care about the material objects he can provide for them. When Ilyich is injured, and begins to die of the kidney failure brought about by his injury, most of his relatives and associates pull away in disgust. They are afraid of death, as if his ill health will affect their pleasures and as if they will never die. Only the compassionate peasant Gerasim takes a philosophical attitude towards death, saying that it comes to everyone.

Ilyich initially takes the point-of-view of most of society, wondering how someone who 'lived so well' as himself could die. However, during the last hours of his life, he finally finds peace. He no longer resists death or is angry at his surviving family. He learns to appreciate the simple compassion and strength of Gerasim, the only man who does not seem disgusted by his illness. Imara would say that only during the last days of his life does Ilyich achieve full personhood and escape the social strictures imposed upon him by society of what it meant to be a successful person. Ilyich no longer defines success in material terms, or even the ability to live longer, but…

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Q3. In Ira Byock's book Dying Well, Byock chronicles the painful process of watching his father die. At first, it was inconceivable to him that his father could pass away, and he met the first stages with a denial of the severity of his father's condition. "It was incomprehensible how all this could be lost" (Byock 1998: 5). This parallels the story of "The Death of Ivan Ilyich" by Leo Tolstoy, in which the title character first sees many doctors who give him conflicting diagnoses about his terminal condition and his family tries to ignore the fact that his condition is worsening, despite the treatment he is receiving. However, unlike Ivan Ilyich, Byock stresses that his father Seymour's life was a life 'well lived,' and his father ended his life surrounded by caring family members. Being with the dying person and tending to their needs, believes Byock, can be a powerful way to ensure that the dying process has a component of 'healing.'

However, Ivan Ilyich does experience flashes of insight. For example, he asks the peasant Gerasim to hold his legs to relieve his pain at times. Although this probably has no physical effect, instinctively Ilyich finds that Gerasim's compassion and matter-of-fact attitude towards illness and death is healing for him. He forms his first simple, human connection with someone else. Even though he is at first angry at his wife and children for their materialism, he dies forgiving them.

Ilyich is literally 'killed' by the house he has so carefully decorated -- he dies as a result of the accident he sustained while hanging curtains. However, after feeling anger about the way he is dying and the fact that someone who has tried to 'make it' in the world for so long must die, in death he finally comes to understand the meaningless nature of all of the things he has been striving for and can appreciate simple goodness and kindness. Although Ilyich may not have 'lived well' in the terms defined by Byock, at the very end he can be said to have 'died well' in the sense that he learned from the experience.

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