Throughout the journey of this course and final project, the development and changing of my research questions and topics have been remarkable. First, I started with the concepts of how much psychological pain impacts people’s ability to function in their daily lives, and if different societies have unique perspectives on pain which can impact the grieving process. However, once I started to research advanced articles, I quickly discovered that my approach to answering these questions was nearly impossible. These topics have not been heavily researched and studied. This topic is also highly subjective and can change greatly from person to person which can create issues with data and analysis of these topics. So, as I began to look for more articles that may answer some of my other questions, I decided to think of some of the issues that have impacted either myself or others I know. One of the topics I decided to focus on was the impact that COVID-19 had on spiritual well-being. This article did not cover the topic of direct pain and suffering. However, the emotional and social pain we all suffered throughout the pandemic due to social isolation was real. The application of my podcast episode, “How to Build a Happy Life: How to Live When You’re in Pain,” must be related to nearly everyone. Next, I decided to focus on the emotional and spiritual well-being of those taking care of the people going through the dying process. Many people my age are either beginning to lose their grandparents or have already lost them. The correlation between age and the perspective on death and dying was very interesting, but it also made a lot of sense. There are many people that fear death and associate purely negative feelings towards death and dying. However, as an individual ages, their opinions towards death and dying tend to become more positive and welcoming. The process of discovering which research ideas and questions were plausible and successful was extremely difficult and resulted in trial and error. The change in my ideas and thoughts display the learning and development made throughout this course. The adjustments made still answered questions within the general scope of my topic. Also, I was able to implement some personal aspects of COVID-19 and suffering throughout this research process. Adding a personal connection to this aspect of research makes the information and search far more interesting and motivating.

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