Are you afraid of death?
I’m not going to lie – I am a little bit.
It has absolutely nothing to do with an afterlife. The idea of heaven and hell is pretty ridiculous. I mean, where are these mythical places supposed to be? Wouldn’t we have found them by now?
One thing that really bothers me when I think of death is that you usually don’t know when you’re going to die. I don’t do well with uncertainty.
What scares me the most is that maybe I won’t be able to do all the things I want to do. I want to spend time with my family. I want to see my daughter grow up. I want to pursue the things I’m passionate about such as art and writing. I’m an ambitious person and I want to do all of these things but there’s just no guarantee.
Common sense tells me that nothing happens after you die but sometimes I wonder what it must feel like to die. It’s not like someone is going to come back from the dead and explain it to me. It’s just another unknown.
I know this all means that I need to make the most of my time. Express love. Pursue passions. Explore. Learn everything I can.
My daughter really hasn’t asked many questions about death, but when she does I plan on telling her that we return to the earth – something we’ve always been a part of anyway.
Who else thinks about death? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Now that I’ve discussed a morbid and depressing topic, I’m going to end with something happy. My sweet little Sasha had five kittens on Cinco de Mayo. Here is one of their adorable little faces.
Some Old Programmer says
I’m fine with death. It’s dying that gives me trepidation. As it happens, my mother died last month. It was a very slow (18 year) decline as heart valve damage (from rheumatic fever when young), COPD and CHF (from smoking) that reduced her ability to do what she enjoyed until she was forced to concede that she could no longer live independently. Fortunately(?) that was mere days before she died for which, I’m hopeful was in her sleep.
My paternal grandmother possibly had it worse. She stroked out and survived for a few months unable to speak or move.
I am fine with the fact that I am mortal, though it is very likely that the process of dying will be horrible and frightening. I am lucky in that I have experienced the death of family very infrequently – we seem to be a long lived family – but everyone I know that has died, died slowly and painfully of cancer or heart failure. I hope by the time I am facing that event, euthanasia has been legalised here in Australia. It really is the last act of mercy we can show someone.
Like Some Old Programmer, I too lost my mother…but this week. She had been lost to dementia and a whole laundry list of physical and mental ailments long before. She died angry and bitter and malicious…pretty much the way she lived her life, actually.
I hope to never go down that path. Like Holms, I am hoping euthanasia will be an option if I seem to be heading that way.
Like you, I believe our bodies will return to the earth in one way or another. I’m hoping for a green burial, or a compost burial. Something to be useful; I don’t want the ridiculous and expensive waste of a satin-lined coffin and tons of preservatives. For what reason? I don’t even know where my grandparents are buried (I can narrow it down to the state but not the town and certainly not the cemetery.)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Thanks, but my mother died years ago, what was left wasn’t her.
BTW, if I circle back to a comment I made earlier in the day, when I go to post an update, I get the message that I’m posting too fast and to slow down…even if 10 hours have gone by since I last posted. Is this a setting you’ve set for your blogsite?
I am unaware of that setting. I will check it out. Thanks for letting me know.
Christopher Hitchens said a lot of bigoted and pompous things, but I do agree with this one:
“It will happen to all of us that at some point you’ll be tapped on the shoulder and told, not just that the party is over, but slightly worse: the party’s going on but you have to leave.”
That, to me, is the worst part of dying: that I won’t get to see if humanity solved its biggest problems and finally achieved something like a Star Trek future. Lately, it is looking more and more like the answer is “NO” on multiple fronts, so maybe I wouldn’t like it even if I could live 300 more years. But, the WWII years must have looked pretty bleak to the people who lived through them, and yet a lot of wonderful things have happened since then, so maybe Homo Sapiens can still pull another rabbit out of the hat and make a nice future for Earth’s biome.
As far as doing all the things I want to do, I am resigned that even if I lived 10 human lifetimes, I would never be able to do all the things I want to do, so I stopped worrying about that and just try to do the things that I want to do today. I usually fail even at that, but I still enjoy the process.
Did that work? Are you still having problems posting?
John Morales says
Death will come, that is certain.
So, restricting this consideration to that existential certitude — that is, not addressing those times in one’s life when circumstances indicate a true danger of imminent death, which I think merits fear — it seems to me that to be afraid of the inevitable is a perverse endeavour. Not only does one suffer the dying itself (after all, as Epicurus noted, “while we exist, our death is not, and when our death occurs, we do not exist”), but the dread and trepidation of its ineluctable occurrence as well.
Being dead is the very definition of not suffering by virtue of not being.
In passing, and tot to mince words, I think a fair bit of religious thinking is predicated on this fear; thus the concepts of reincarnation and heaven and whatnot. An existential crutch made entirely of wishful thinking.
One thing I have noted (I was born in 1960) is that, as older people become ever closer to their end, most recognise that inevitability and become more stoic about it.
And, to end on a cheery note, I for one think there are worse fates than death.
moarscienceplz @5, Hitchens died a pretty good death. Respect.
Test of posting frequency warning; if you see this, please disregard.
I agree with John Morales; everyone dies.
P.S. Sasha’s kitten is very cute! Do you have homes for all of them?
Not yet! We are going to keep one or two. The rest will be available sometime in July. We have a couple friends interested.