We don't talk about it enough in this country. I'm fairly ignorant to sociology, so I don't know if other countries/cultures do, but my sense is that Americans are pretty gifted on the denial scale.
I think that it's healthy to think about, at least more than most of us do. Keeps you honest. It's good to realize that you really aren't going to be here for forever, and that you might not be here for as long as you think that you are. It also helps with the whole Carpe Diem thing, especially when we seem to be programmed to want to spend too much time on our collective arse.
If I sit and think, really think, about my own death, for 5 minutes, it changes my whole day. In some ways good, in some not so good (but I think that's probably more related to the fact that I don't do it often enough.) When your child has cancer, you're forced to think about his death. Over and over and over. Definitely changes the day.
Last week I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was as if someone was standing behind me all day long, interrupting me every 30 minutes or so to say, "You know, he still might die." This week it's down to a few times a day, allowing me to relax much more.
Strange, though. With all of the pondering on mortality and death over the last 9 months, I continue with my illusion of control. I find that if I just begin to consider the death of one of my other children, I have the same sense of utter panic and disbelief that I remember from when Henry was diagnosed. I know that the possibility of losing them has yet to enter my consciousness. Not that I'm inviting it in. But isn't it interesting to compartmentalize so much?
OK, weird post, not sure what I think about it yet. Really, I'm doing better. But last week sucked.