These stimulating companion volumes reflect an expansion of the coverage of Wrightsman's earlier book Personality Development in Adulthood. They encourage readers to look at the evolving nature of their own lives, and include case studies throughout to illustrate concepts in a thought-provoking, non-technical manner.
Chapter 7: Reactions to Death and Dying
Reactions to Death and Dying
Do not go gentle into that good night….
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Awareness of death is present in some undifferentiated way even in young children, and some psychiatrists have speculated that a child's early response to death affects the whole of personality development (Lifton & Olson, 1982). But for most of us, death becomes a personal issue only much later in our lives except for brief periods; for example, when a classmate dies. It was only after he suffered a stroke in 1987, for example, that Edward Koch—then the mayor of New York City-carried his musings about his own mortality to the point of preparing for his funeral and composing his own epitaph ...