“I wish I’d had the courage to live the life true to myself, not the life others expected of me – this is the most common regret all people have on their deathbed,” said Dr. Oh in his lecture for the World Affairs Council on Tuesday, April 26th 2016. Life is uncertain, death is inevitable – what can we do to contribute to the quality of living and dying? First of all, we should talk more about death and dying nowadays, as death has become an “invisible event” rather than a continuous process. In his presentation, Dr. Oh focused on the socioeconomic, geographical and technological factors that influence the concept of death and drew parallels between the perception of death in the US and his native South Korean society. He introduced five emotional stages of dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, which include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance, and illustrated them with a simulation game “Death and Dying.” Dr. Oh concluded his lecture with a summary of the lessons that the discourse of death and dying can teach us, and an inspirational message to focus on “now, the life and living.”
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