The moment death occurs is not something everyone agrees on.

For many, death is a process which can start long before the body stops working. For some it can occur long after this point. Others see it as part of a cycle that continues into eternity.

Today modern Western science has its definition of when death occurs. However, this isn't the same way people have identified death throughout history. For many religions it is the point when the soul or essence of the person leaves the body. Many societies across the world wait until the body has thoroughly decomposed before believing death has really happened.

Often these points of view overlap and continue to develop as people and their ideas and understandings of the world change. Here are some examples of current beliefs as to when death is said to happen.