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Word Count: 1,116
Raised fists and a fading smile usually follow the confrontation of death as we experience the first stages of denial in the grieving process We not only grieve at the loss of a loved one but at the loss of our own life as well When death rears its ugly head it demands this response Whether through art or science humor or ritual mankind marks and confronts this passage with both defiance and trepidation that eventually turns into acceptance and submission The fear of death seems to be based on two things the finality of death and the uncertainty of what follows Many works have been written on the topic some to offer consolation others hope and still others to urge readers to correct their behavior during life itself The conflicting views put forward by different societies may never be reconciled since nobody comes back to tell of an afterlife Robert Frost successfully delineates this process in his poem Out Out - as he describes how the boy in the poem experiences the first stage of impending death - that of denial Frost paints a picture of school age children doing the household chores of adults Death with children is especially disturbing because in our unconscious mind we are all immortal so it is almost inconceivable to be openly confronted with the reality of death For children this thought is especially implausible because of their youth It is much easier to turn our attention to less frightening possibilities The boy states this to his sister after crying out in a rueful laugh Dont let him cut my hand off The doctor When he comes Dont let him sister Frost 25 26 Step two and three of the grieving processes when confronting impending death are anger and depression Anger is present because humans are the only species with an awareness of past present and future With this knowledge
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