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How Do You Deal With Your Fear Of Death?


Mycroft
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Hello friends!

So, almost everybody I know has an incredible fear of death. Death, and the basic idea that everything and everyone we know and love is going to die and decay is one of those fears/problems that is so indisputably unsolvable, that our minds just decide to bury it in some sort of psychological limbo.

 

People I know don't like to talk about death.

 

As for me, I love talking about death. Maybe the taboo is what makes it so interesting in the first place. For example: most of the males on my father's side of the family died in traffic accidents halfway through their fourties. I always like to jokingly say that I have every right to have a midlife crisis during my twenties. After all, statistics show that I'm halfway there already. :) Most people seem to hate that kind of dark humor when it comes to the grim reaper.

 

Here is my question: what happened to your fear of death after you left the church? I mean, christianity has a very clear perspective on life after death, so what happened after the safety of that certainty fell away?

 

How do you deal with your fear of death?

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Christianity only ever intensified my fear of death.  I was always fearful of facing judgement, and being possibly sent away to eternal torment.  For me, the belief in an afterlife exacerbated my fear.

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Agree with the last post. Of course, there are ways to die which in and of themselves are more or less frightening.

But, the idea of going unconscious and blinking out of existence simply doesn't terrify me. The Christian judgment always did, even when I was not a practicing Christian, i.e. a backslider. Once I overcame the fear of hell, realizing where it came from and that it doesn't exist, fear of death evaporated.

I do have concerns: I want to die only when those who depend upon me are in a good place, I'd rather die having left something for other peple, something that will better their lives.

I used to feel guilty, as a Christian, when all the other Christians are talking about heaven and how that's their prize. The reason for my guilt is I was then as I am now: my main concerns for after the fact would be those who are left here. My daughter, my Wife, if She outlives me, the projects I've been involved with, friends, and so on.

And now, my Christian friends, at least those who know I am an apostate. The awful mafia attitude they're left with is terrible. For them. They'd be left questioning what they did wrong, imagining me burning in hell, all by their loving deity. And in their minds, I chose to go there, not because of a horrible act, but because of lack of belief.

If I think about death, those are things I do think about.

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Guest afireinside

My time as a Christian was spent worrying about death-my own death and the death of others. People I knew who "died in sin" would paralyze me with anxiety about what awaited them. I feared death myself as I never knew where I was headed, I never felt comfortable with salvation, I felt that I was an unsaved, deceived sinner who tried to be saved but had absolutely no assurance so was plagued with fear and uncertainty. I wish I never entered into that belief system, subconsciously I think that fear is still there because it was so deeply ingrained in my psyche. Christianity is psychologically scarring when it comes to death and the fear of.

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I don't fear death.  I have been bereaved many times so I know that any death causes pain to those left behind.  I am a staunch supporter of voluntary euthanasia with appropriate safeguards.

 

I have struggled with depression throughout my life and been suicidal several times in the past.  As a xian I was sure I was going to heaven and, when suicidal, the belief that permanent effective relief from my pain was possible made it more likely that I would act on those feelings.  So I think xianity can be very dangerous for susceptible people.  Since deconversion I am confident that I won't feel that way again because I value this one life too much to throw it away.

 

I hope I die in my sleep or after euthanasia is legal.  Not existing would be ok, because I didn't exist before I was conceived.

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Hello friends!

 

So, almost everybody I know has an incredible fear of death. Death, and the basic idea that everything and everyone we know and love is going to die and decay is one of those fears/problems that is so indisputably unsolvable, that our minds just decide to bury it in some sort of psychological limbo.

 

People I know don't like to talk about death.

 

As for me, I love talking about death. Maybe the taboo is what makes it so interesting in the first place. For example: most of the males on my father's side of the family died in traffic accidents halfway through their fourties. I always like to jokingly say that I have every right to have a midlife crisis during my twenties. After all, statistics show that I'm halfway there already. :) Most people seem to hate that kind of dark humor when it comes to the grim reaper.

 

Here is my question: what happened to your fear of death after you left the church? I mean, christianity has a very clear perspective on life after death, so what happened after the safety of that certainty fell away?

 

How do you deal with your fear of death?

Maybe I never really bought the Christian BS too much because I don't think much about death now. I figure it is the end for me but all things must end. I am only in my 50s so guessing I still have some time left. Hopefully I won't turn into a fearful xian on my deathbed like my parents did but if it gives me comfort I might. Lol. Maybe I will reincarnate as a congressman. Who knows?

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I don't fear death.  I only fear dying before my children are old enough to handle it.  I got a life insurance policy to help them out.  It's not the same but what can you do?  Life has risks.

 

There is no way I would want to live forever.

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Life is really from moment to moment. That is all we have. Just realize it and go on.  I don't understand what death means and so what happens, happens.

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It ain't death that scares me; it's dying in some god-awfully painful way.

I can relate. The end may not be very good, not good at all, and we have no control.

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I only feared death as a Christian, and believed in the nonsense about an imaginary place called hell. Now, as an atheist...I don't fear death. I rather fear not living my life to its fullest potential.

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If I'm a good example, you get over it, grow out of it or something like that.

 

I've been in the hospital going on 5 weeks now and death doesn't bother me a bit. I don't even think about it. I doubt it will happen now, but when it does, I won't know it and won't be around to care.

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I still can't wrap my mind around nonexistence.  even the most remote possibility of hellfire still cares me.  I just haven't been out long enough and my heart hasn't caught up to my brain.   sad.png

 

Dying alone also scares me.  With no chance to say goodbye to loved ones, or no one knowing what happened to me.  Like if I get stranded outside somewhere and freeze to death.. or if I travel alone to another country, leave my passport at the hotel and get hit by a bus or something.  Or outliving everyone I've ever known or cared about, and just dying alone in a room somewhere.  

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I still can't wrap my mind around nonexistence.  even the most remote possibility of hellfire still cares me.  I just haven't been out long enough and my heart hasn't caught up to my brain.   sad.png

 

Dying alone also scares me.  With no chance to say goodbye to loved ones, or no one knowing what happened to me.  Like if I get stranded outside somewhere and freeze to death.. or if I travel to another country without my passport and get hit by a bus or something.

 

*hug*

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I still can't wrap my mind around nonexistence.  even the most remote possibility of hellfire still cares me.  I just haven't been out long enough and my heart hasn't caught up to my brain.   :(

 

Dying alone also scares me.  With no chance to say goodbye to loved ones, or no one knowing what happened to me.  Like if I get stranded outside somewhere and freeze to death.. or if I travel alone to another country, leave my passport at the hotel and get hit by a bus or something.  Or outliving everyone I've ever known or cared about, and just dying alone in a room somewhere.

 

“Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.”

 

-epicurus

 

think about this for a minute. While you are alive, as far as you're concerned, you're always alive. When you're dead, you won't be able to reflect on the fact, or even know it happened. So 'you' will never die. When 'you' no longer exists, you'll neither know, nor care. Thus, death is nothing to you and non existence meaningless.

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Guest Marty

I do not fear death, in view of the fact that I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.
- Mark Twain

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 Or outliving everyone I've ever known or cared about, and just dying alone in a room somewhere.  

 

I've always had this idea in my mind, probably from science fiction: what would it be like to outlive everyone you ever knew? Of course you'd be sad. But, like Frank Poole in 3001 The Final Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke, you'd almost live another life.

I don't think it would necessarily have to be as grim as Paul Edgecombe in the Green Mile. If you were still vital, somehow, then you could have some new experiences and impact more people.

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“Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.”

 

-epicurus

 

think about this for a minute. While you are alive, as far as you're concerned, you're always alive. When you're dead, you won't be able to reflect on the fact, or even know it happened. So 'you' will never die. When 'you' no longer exists, you'll neither know, nor care. Thus, death is nothing to you and non existence meaningless.

 

Yes that. Going out of existence doesn't scare me. Only concern I have is for those who would be left alive. Even as a Xian, when I wasn't afraid of hell, I paid heaven little mind. My main concerns were for those who would be left here, and how well I would have left my affairs for them to handle. This is what the Xians call 'worldly'.

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How do I deal with my fear?  I choose to live.  I live now, because NOW is all we are guaranteed.  There is no guarantee that we will have 80 years, 80 hours, or hell, even 80 seconds.  Do what makes you happy, do what makes you happy and productive.  That's how I do it.  

 

True that. I heard some guru say: "if you're troubled with questions about your existence, you're not living hard enough." And that's true. When you're longboarding down a mountainroad at 30 mph, you're not thinking philosophical thoughts, you're not even busy staying alive. You're living.

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I wouldn't say I have a fear of death as much as I don't want to be dead right now as I have too much to see and do yet on this earth.  I have a good Death Plan ready for when it's time, so I'm good with that.

 

Of course, if I were to die in an accident (such as getting in a car with a male member of your family in their mid-40's) I wouldn't have a real choice there, would I?GONZ9729CustomImage1539775.gif

 

I'm not so much afraid of dying as I am of people not taking me seriously when I get there.  I have had most all of my family die, as my family was very old and ill, and we grew up going to funerals.  I worked 8 years in a retirement village where people died and I worked 3 years as a caregiver for the extreme frail and elderly and they died.  One thing I always hated was when people who were near death would say something about being near death and wanting to die, and other people (including hospice nurses) would act all fake-cheery and say shit like, "Oh don't say that!  You'll be fine!  Have a good attitude!"  I never did that with my family (when I was old enough to be able to do it) or my residents or clients.  If they wanted to talk about their own death, I listened and agreed with what they'd say.  The worst I'd hear was when family members would say things like, "Everybody's going to die!  I might die before you!" when one of my elderly clients near death would say something like, "I'm going to die soon."  If the client said something like to me, I would say something like, "Maybe," then I'd try to direct the conversation to what they'd done in this life, "Yeah, it's near the end, but look at your family!  Your kids and grandkids are great, and look how hard you worked all those years to support them and raise them!  Look at your work and how successful you were over the yeas!"  Then we'd talk about that, and their lifetime of accomplishments.  I just hope when I'm getting ready to die, that somebody out there will take me seriously and talk to me and not just stick their fingers in their ears and go la-la-la, which is what they do when they say, "You'll be fine!  Have a good attitude!"

 

I do know people in this country (the US) are generally not comfortable with terminal illness and death, and we seem to want to live forever, look young forever, be able to take some kind of pills that will make us live forever, and deny dignified death.  I guess because I grew up with dying people and dead people, my grandmother died in front of me when I was 4, death really doesn't freak me out.  Being stuck as an immobile body with a feeding tube directly in my abdomen and unable to speak or taste food or eliminate without someone else wiping me freaks me out.  And if I do get a diagnosis of something terminal I will start my Death Plan, and I will want some people at least to take me seriously that I am going to die because I chose not to go through the torture of treatment (I've seen too much of that with my job), and I'm hoping they will not just say, "Don't say that!"  I'm hoping someone will say, "Wise choice, and what an interesting life you've had!  What great kids you raised!  Tell me the story of your life!"

 

I have had the privilege of hearing the real life stories of two people who died shortly afterward.  One was my mom.  We sat for hours, just the two of us, the month before she died, and she told me stories she had NEVER told us growing up (I was only 18 when she died), funny stories and heartache that I never knew about.  The other was a resident I had befriended, we used to drink together between my work shifts, and at the end I sat on her bed and she told me all about her life.  What an honor.  Both their stories would have been wonderful books.

 

I do hope someone will take me seriously when I'm dying.  I do think when I'm dead I'll just be dead and gone, out like a flame, and no more.  

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"I'm not so much afraid of dying as I am of people not taking me seriously when I get there." amateur

 

I'm with you, amateur. Both relatives and health care providers are, from my observation, phony with the

dying too often. Has it ever occurred to them that he/she might want to die? I'm serious. If one has

gotten to an age in which she can't enjoy life and, even if she could survive, it would be a mere dull

maintenance of life, why wouldn't she want to die? If one is a point where she can't even feel or express the love she has always had for her husband and children, etc. because she feels so bad, the main

reason for living has passed. As my mother-in-law said when she was in a slow process of dying,"enough is enough". bill

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The idea of death doesn't really bother me. Everybody and everything dies- and since I'm not special I see no reason why I shouldn't be ok with the idea that I'll die too.

I've seen no reason whatsoever to believe that my consciousness will exist independent of a functioning brain. My rather large, well proportioned, and highly functional head has shut down several times over the years via concussion, alcohol & other fun substances, heat stroke, and traumatic shock. Every time it happens, "I" cease to consciously exist. I'm reasonably sure that it'll be the same when my brain finally and completely shuts down. And I'll be dead- so why would I care?

Now sure people talk about souls, ghosts, goblins, gods, and chupacabras. People talk about all kinds of stupid shit like that- I've watched honest and intelligent people rearrange stories and pull events outta their ass. Doesn't mean I believe them. That's just how the human brain works. And if you have a somewhat inhuman brain like mine you tend to notice that most people are full of shit most of the time. And that's ok- I'm not saying they're bad. Just saying that I I've been told things that are untrue so often in my life that I tend to trust my OWN perceptions over what people tell me.

And my own perceptions tell me that among us mammals, death is universal and final.

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