Death and Dying in the Millenial Generation

I have always been told if you open with a joke it makes a sad subject a little easier….

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Nina Paley cartoonist 

We were all raised in a different walk of life. Some were raised in the Christian faith and some in the Pagan path. Though we all learned our core values from the people who raised us we all share one thing. That thing is that we are human and have human emotions. We deal with life and death according to the faith we have come to believe in at this point of our life. Millennia generation is ranged from 18-33 years old.

Research shows that millenniums were born between 1984 and early 2000s. Millenniums are more civic-minded with a strong sense of community than the generations before them. They are more irreligion than any generation before meaning they are indifferent to religion even hostile to the thought. Studies show approximately 25% of the millenniums  are irreligion.

I raised 4 millennial children and they all deal with life differently. They all follow a different paths in life and their faith is all different in one way or another. The only thing that they all have in common is how they dealt with the death of their grandparents. We all deal with death basically the same way. We may go through the emotions in a different order maybe but they are the same. No matter your religion or irreligion in this case we are all still human with human emotions.

In 1969 Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote “On Death And Dying” and introduced the world to the 5 Stages of grief. The first stage is Denial. We protect ourselves by refusing to believe that our loved one is dying. We may stay in this stage for a long time or move through it quickly. No matter our faith we all face the death of someone we love with denial.

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Because the Millennial generation is the internet driven generation they are more driven in career and less into relationship. Millenniums  are living at home with parents longer so their core support system is their aging parents. This leaves them spiraling when a parent dies. They can’t understand why the world keeps moving in its normal routines while they are dying inside. They don’t have religious ties to find help so they turn to the internet to find ways to deal with the pain they feel. WWW.Modernloss.com  is one of many new websites popping up to help this generation deal with death.

The second stage of grief is anger. This is where we lash out at our God or Goddess. Some people scream and yell. Many people have a crisis of faith at this time because their anger with their deity. We blame them for the pain of the loss.  I remember the morning I was  told mom was gone. I had stayed at her house late the night before and my roommate came in to wake me.  I picked up a plastic bookcase and threw it across the room. I could not understand why my Goddess would take my parents from me  4 and 1/2 months apart. Anger passed quickly for all but one of my children.

Fifteen years later he is still living with severe anger over their deaths.  He believes that there is no Higher Power because if there was he/she wouldn’t have taken his grandparents. It seems  maybe because of their greater expectations, that millennial generation kids stays in this stage longer or even revert back to it later in life.

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Bargaining is the third stage. We plead with our deities asking them to save our loved one offering almost anything if they will. From there we slip into the fourth stage depression. The sadness overwhelms us because of the loss. You may still try to call them and remember they are gone from here. Millennial kids may find this stage hard and may need to seek professional help. Even if they are faith-based they may not find the help they need. Some groups are starting to form all over the United States founded by millenniums for millenniums.  They find more comfort with those of their own generation than they do within their faith.

Fifth, and final , stage is acceptance. We finally come to terms that they are gone. Acceptance doesn’t mean it gets easier, but that we finally realize we can’t change what has happened. This is the stage most millenniums will struggle with because they want to change the future for the better. The loss of a close friend or family member alters millennial generations  future in a way they can’t control.

Whether you are from the Baby Boomer, Gen X or a millennial we all go through the stages of grief. Our faith helps us with dealing with the grief because it gives us comfort. We see our loved one in Heaven, Valhalla, or the Summer Land happy and healthy or being reborn into a new life.  That is acceptance and how it protects us. As Pagans we still feel them, hear them in the wind or the fires. We do not lose our loved ones they are always there with us guiding us from beyond the veil. That in my opinion is the blessing of being an Eclectic Witch. I still can talk to my parents and friends that have crossed over so I never truly lost them.

Kübler-Ross model

Millennials

This youtube video is a Pagan song by Velvet Hammer called “We Do Not Die”

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