How Death Is Handled in the West and East

I just found out that Roger, the man who lived next door to my office, passed away.  He fell ill a couple of months ago with pneumonia and had several complications following which landed him in a skilled nursing facility.  Today I read this passage in the monthly email sent by the Ling Gui Qigong School and it made me think of Roger and of how death is handled in this country in general. I wish our bodies and spirits were still allowed to rest for 3 days and 3 nights.  Around the world there are many traditions that allow a body to rest undisturbed before it is prepared for burial or cremation.  Read on:

In Western medicine when someone is dead, it is determined by no activity of the heart and brain. In Taoist medicine, death is determined with the separation of the Hun (Liver Spirit) and the Po (Lung Spirits). When a person is considered dead, the body is kept in the home for three days and nights to allow time for the spirits to separate or return. This has occurred in several cases. From this point of view, the Hun and Po not only determine life or death: they are instrumental in our health, filling an anti-cancer role. In addition, these Spirits contribute to our Spiritual Life and emotional well being.