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Death is in the Eye of the Beholder

            Ironically "[t]he more we are making advancements in science, the more we seem to fear and deny the reality of death- (Kubler-Ross 21). The process of dying has grown to become "more lonely, mechanical, and dehumanized- (Kubler-Ross 21) in recent years "people no longer spend the last moments of their life in the comfort of their own homes surrounded by loved ones, but rather listening to the annoying siren of the ambulance or is in the middle of a unfamiliar and sterile hospital with doctors and nurses rushing around, frantically forcing in more time when the patient is ready to go. Interestingly, Kubler-Ross calls attention to American society's increasingly depersonalized approach to the aging and dying, and notices that our reliance on technology and machines is "our desperate attempt to deny the impending death which is so frightening and discomforting to us- to ultimately avoid "[reminding] us once more of our lack of omnipotence, our own limits and failures, and our own mortality- (Kubler-Ross 23). This only intensifies this deep-set fear of losing control of our lives to nature. So it's no surprise that more and more people from all socioeconomic classes, backgrounds, and genders are collectively indulging and at the same time investing billions of dollars worth of products and procedures offering hope to regain control over nature and time and perhaps even grant immortality. .
             Have Americans always possessed this desire to control mortality, fueled by the fear of death? Looking back at colonial America, life expectancy averaged a measly 30 years, driven down by the high infant mortality rate. With generations living closely together and no hospitals or nursing homes, people died in their own homes surrounded by family. Common illnesses such as malaria and typhoid fever (now obsolete with advances in medicine) and accidents in work and play due to few safety regulations led to the deaths of many otherwise healthy young adults.

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