You whom are about to die--we salute you. And that is the fate of all mankind, after all. But we repress death and obsess with sex (which I believe is a paraphrase of Fromm). Even though death is all around us, from those who are dead on the streets (which the homeless might as well be, for all the good-will they receive from the rest of us), to every woman who doesn't wake up in her bed (which almost happened to Madonna). It is the fate of almost every career woman. We can neither say when life begins nor when it ends. Does it end with the death of the brain? Or heart?
If you are reading this, you are probably not dead. No one has ever accused dead souls of reading literature. I believe we are more interested in dead souls than they in us. Death is the ultimate in uncontrollability--where, when, how, why? Unknowns all.
New technology is usually utilized to understand the dead. And for pornography. When cameras were first made quotidian, people took pictures of the near and dear corpses before they were planted. People made jewelry out of thei dearly beloved hair. Now we see that as just creepy. People who seek now to take a selfie with the corpse are thought to be disrespectful. Almost on the level of those who take submersibles to Davy Jones' locker.
The dearly beloved was buried in a grave, usually near (if not one) the grounds where they once resided. Their survivors took care of their graves. Memorial Day was at first marked for this--Decoration Day--meaning--grave decoration. Families went en-masse to their loved ones graves, planted flowers, picnicked. Remembered. It was part of closure. It was part of the lifespan. As they are now, so shall you be.
Now we are all warriers. Death is a cowardly surrender. Look at obituaries--the deceased fought a "valiant battle" against whatever. Now we are all seen as "battlers" against the ordinary ills of quotidian lives--depression, anxiety, cancer, whatever. Unless of course, you are a lower-income marginalized sort (or LIEM's, as APA now calls them). Then, you are killed, murdered, beaten, battered. The LIEMS are victims of death. The rest of us are warriors, on the fields of Troy, I suppose.
Now the DSM blames the survivors. Bereavement is not a part of the life cycle of death. It is a psychopathology. It is not something to integrate into your life; it is something with a known timeline and if you aren't on course--its medication for you. As if medication cures--it only suppresses.
Bereavement is another thing that could be wrong with you. As if a 1000page tome didn't have enough things that you could be prone to. No wonder everyone hates us. Anyone who ever thinks about their own demise or muses upon it--that's suicidal ideation. And better living (not thoughts) via chemistry. Psychiatrists take Catholicism seriously--despair is the unforgiveable sin, the sin against the holy ghost.
A century ago, death was G-d's will. The chances of anyone surviving past 50, let alone fourscore and ten. Unlikely. The chances of seeing all your children survive to adulthood--unlikely.
It is acceptable to be sad. Never angry. Not at the dead, of course. One way of being angry at the dead is to invent dybbuks and demons and vampires. All concrete manifestations of survivor anger. Judaism actually gets this. I saw in a siddur the other day a "Prayer for an unkind parent."