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I'm afraid of death

Question Posted Sunday August 15 2010, 6:59 am

And I wasn't always afraid. I was as a child, and then I managed to accept it and find comfort spiritually.

But I've been going through a rough patch in my life, and suddenly, I find all my faith in regards to death to be a bit shaken, and also just afraid. I mean, I still have faith in a lot of things, I don't want a big spiritual discussion. It's just... I'm afraid of how sudden I could die, without knowing why or saying my farewells to my loved ones, and what happens afterwards, and if anything I've done matters when I die. And even if it's not my death, I'm afraid of the day when I lose the people I care about, especially the ones who help support me in my times of emotional need.

Someone, help me accept my mortality and that of everyone else without it becoming a "Join this faith" speech or a nihilistic rant on the meaninglessness of life. Other than that, I'll accept a lot of help from as many as I can get.
Male, 27

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Carolena answered Thursday September 2 2010, 3:32 pm:
The only way I know how to fully accept your mortality is to live a full life.(whether you are religious or not). Define for yourself what a good life is and go CREATE it.

"I'm afraid of how sudden I could die, without knowing why or saying my farewells to my loved one"

Share with people how you feel about them. Make connections and honor them

"If anything I've done matters when I die."

Make your life matter and you will matter after you die too. Dream big and follow through. Make a difference in the people around you.

"And even if it's not my death, I'm afraid of the day when I lose the people I care about"

Many people in my life have pasted away. From an early age I have learned this.
- Every person that has offered you something in life stays with you. From the smallest thing to the biggest.
- When you feel sadness because they are not here it's always attached to something great. Remember and celebrate that great memory, idea, advice, etc. Let go of the sadness
- It's ok to be afraid of losing the people you care about, they are important and precious in your life. Don't lose site of the fact you have them right now. Spend time, enjoy them, do your best.
- Each death teaches something about life and how to live it. Isn't that the point? how well you live life. Learn the lessons and use them in your life.

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familyfirst answered Monday August 16 2010, 1:07 pm:
I hope it helps to say your are normal.

There are a few things here that helped me come to that conclusion :)

1. You are a 27 year old male. That means your are right around the time that your brain is coming to full maturity. The average adult brain matures around 25 and a bit later for males. As adults, our "developmental milestones" tend to be less significant than learning to walk and talk and teens feel they can win world peace if they could win the lottery and build a big hotel to house the world's homeless.

But at 27 you may be at a point in your life where you realize... you are going to die. We all hope it will be 100 years from now. For most of us, especially in this country we will make it to a fairly nice old age. Children are so impulsive and wreckless because they don't realize how fragile their bodies are. They see on t.v someone jump from a roof holding a few bird feathers and assume they can fly too. They don't understand that, not only will that not work but when they hit the ground... they will be seriously hurt. We reach a point in our life when bungee jumping, sky diving, those really risky things look like a lot of fun but... I think I'll pass. I am mortal and have concerns that I may not be the same at the end of the day if I go through that activity. You may have just come to realize your mortality.

2. You have been going through a rough patch in your life. I have no idea what this means but it certainly seems significant! You are approaching 30. You could be seeing many of your friends married and having children. If you are single, you may be wondering what is going to become of your life. You may not even be dating someone right now but you know you dont want to be alone forever. This can lead to a feeling of urgency to find that special woman to settle down and have a family. The more urgent the need to find someone becomes you the more you get upset at the idea you are getting older and "may not have enough time" to find her... a vicious cycle.

3. You may have something missing in your life. If you are at odds with someone you love perhaps it is time to be mature and end the hostility. I once heard a good piece of advice regarding not speaking with a member of the family for years because of a falling out. "If that person died tomorrow- would they die knowing you love them?" I think this is a good piece of advice even if there hasnt been a falling out- to be sure you tell and show the people you care about how you feel about them on a fairly regular basis but particularly if you are at odds with someone, it may be time to repair the situation. Maybe you are unhappy with work. It could take a lot of schedule changes, financial hardship, and overall life difficulty but... go back to school. Study something you love and get a great job. Maybe you dont feel you have "served your purpose" yet. You asked to not get involved in a spiritual conversation but spirituality is real. Maybe you need to do something with Habitat for Humanity, or volunteer once a month for a soup kitchen, or take a week off work and go help clean a beach at the Gulf Coast... these are all just hypothetical examples. But it we arent being fed spiritually we do not feel whole. Many people dont understand this or try to deny it. They are the ones who go through life never "finding themselves".

I am not asking you to join a particular faith. And life is not meaningless. But life IS what we make of it. If you are afraid of dying you should eat healthy, exercise, avoid risky activities. Be interactive with people. Don't sit around your house. Get out and take a hike. Listen to the birds. Get involved with some sort of project. Eventually I think you will find you are busy enough ENJOYING life that you don't really put a huge focus on the end of life. If you are afraid you will die before anything you have done matters- wake up tomorrow and do something, or at least start something that matters. Take "matters" into your own hands. You don't have to just let life pass you by!!

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marcc352 answered Sunday August 15 2010, 6:48 pm:
That's something we all feel at one point in time of our lives. I was petrified of death back when i was in high school. and a little part of that fear will always be there it's a part of being human, but i believe that's why we should NOT become part of any one faith but just be fair and just to one another so that when we die people will remember us for who we were and reflect upon how they can better themselves in our absence. i think we'd all want to choose how we go and at what age but that's the frailty of it. and your loved ones will know if you suddenly go like my cousin did a few years ago that you really did mean to say goodbye and that your in a better place whatever that place may be for you.

hope you take some solace in this advice

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