People have different attitudes about death, how to cope with it, how to look at it positively, but how often do we stop short of all that, and ask, why are we inclined to mourn death in the first place? Isn't that an important part of the discussion? If we're only talking about how to deal with it, I can't help but think we're still not really talking about it. Still not facing whatever it is we're supposed to be dealing with.
Death. Does it get any more self explanatory than that? Does anyone hear the word "death" and feel all warm and fuzzy inside? That's, of course, not what we're generally going for, right? We're talking about coping, but with what? People tell each other stories, about how they'll see their loved ones when they reunite in Valhalla or wherever. We want to believe that they're not really gone - this seems relatively undeniable. We want to hold on to what we have, including the people we have in our lives.
When you think of loved ones lost, what is it that hurts? There's rarely much emphasis on what the deceased has lost, but rather, that we'll never see or hear from them, ever again. More generally, we might feel sympathy for anyone whose life gets cut short, all the potential that won't be achieved. The more they've achieved, the less that plays into it, but does this really have anything to do with why we mourn? It seems many mourn those with great lives even more.
It's really the saying goodbye that's the hardest part, isn't it? That's what a lot of their rituals seem to be about. Maybe if we embellish our goodbyes sufficiently, that will make up for the fact that they will never say goodbye back. They appear to seek closure, a severing of attachment. They're gone. There's nothing to do but let go.