Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

David Day

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.


Death is rarely a comfortable topic for people to think about and discuss, yet it’s critical that as individuals we embrace our unique human awareness of our mortality as stated by Terror Management Theory. As a result of various science and technological advancements, we frequently feel removed from the reality of death and see it as a miserable event that only happens to other people. Too often, it takes a near-death experience for us to realize just how imminent death is. Embracing our awareness of death can allow us to move toward a level of acceptance providing various benefits for our life. In this paper, I review the literature covering the advantages of death awareness to our health, happiness, relationships, future preparations, and life purpose. Large-scale tragedies, such as 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic, reveal valuable insights into the ways mortality salience can influence our behaviors, attitudes, and cognition. With the understanding that there will be future events with similar implications, this paper includes several recommendations for individuals, as well as researchers, on how to further conversations about death awareness in a meaningful way.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.