That’s how you meet the fear of death
The fear of death engages and touches each person in different situations of life and in various forms. Here, you can get some suggestions on how to look at this particular chapter more relaxed. I hope that after reading my post, you will be less fearful about your own “end of life.”
By the way, I am not simply writing about this topic because I feel bored, but rather because the fear of death once was the reason why I developed panic disorder.
At some point in our childhood, we begin to become aware of our own mortality. From this point on, thoughts of death accompany us all our lives.
Dealing with this topic is different for everyone: some suppress these thoughts, others lose themselves in states of anxiety and panic, and some may already have succeeded in making peace with the end of their lives.
If you are burdened with thoughts of death, and they give you a sense of despair and anxiety, then the following food for thought and tips may help you to look at the subject from a different perspective.
Some aspects of this article are based on the book “About Dying” by Palliative Career Gian Domenico Borasio, who discusses various aspects of dying based on his experiences with dying people.
Communication: Talk about your fear of death
Dare to talk openly about death with close friends or family members. In order to deal with your immense angst of dying, you should first realize that you are by no means alone with these thoughts.
All humans must leave this Earth plane at some point – at least for a while. And many of us have already more or less dealt with it.
However, as a lot of people carry uncomfortable feelings about this topic around with themselves, it is unfortunately often repressed and concealed. Therefore, death in our Western world often presents a big taboo subject.
However, this can make the anxiety worse. Because death is perceived as an abstract and uncertain concept that is seemingly so dangerous and scary that no one dares to talk about it.
So dare to talk to your family and friends about your thoughts. Only through communication can you find out if other people may already have had similar feelings and how they dealt with them.
By being brave enough to speak your scary thoughts aloud, you are already taking a lot of their negative power from them. For when we lose ourselves in a thought carousel, we often do not realize that our thoughts are becoming increasingly irrational and thus we always experience even more negative feelings.
Death as an essential part of the life cycle
In fact, birth and dying processes are the only events that affect all sentient beings equally. Both are physiological processes that should, as a rule, run as smooth as possible thanks to special precautions taken by nature.
Remember that death is the same as birth. Both are natural processes that belong to the life cycle. In this sense, death carries you back to the area where you were before you were born.
Whatever it looks like, it’s up to your own imagination and belief. Someone once said that he finds it strange that most people fear death instead of birth. He told me that being born is much more painful than dying.
Fear of death – The fear of uncertainty
It often scares us not to see exactly where our path will lead. A central reason for our irrational fear of death is the uncertainty and, with it, the fear of what is likely to come. Rationally, we ultimately only know two things:
1- We will die.
2- We do not know when and how.
Keep these two things in mind and accept the uncertainty. After all, our future is always undetermined. We do not know what tomorrow, next week, or ten years from now will bring.
But rather than worrying about which dramatic situations or problems might arise, you should make peace with the uncertainty and accept it as enrichment.
The Roman philosopher Seneca summed this up as early as 49 in his book “De brevitate vitae” (“The brevity of life”):
“If you could visualize the number of remaining years of life as well as the number of the past, then how would those people who only see a few years left for themselves be frightened? How gentle they would be with these years. A certain, even short period of time can be easily divided. With extra care, you have to guard something that you do not know when it will end. “
Every human being has a certain amount of time on Earth, which luckily we do not know how long it will be. Nevertheless, this exact uncertainty should encourage us to use our lifetime all the more intensively.
Death as enrichment
People who work in a palliative ward or hospice are often asked if dealing with death on a daily basis would not lead to major emotional problems.
Indeed, a study of psychotherapist Dr. Martin Fegg and coworkers showed that the quality of life of caregivers on a palliative care ward and nurses in a maternity ward is not significantly different.
According to Borasio, this is particularly due to the fact that one becomes aware of one’s own finiteness every day through the daily dealings with dying people.
What many may see as a burden, Borasio perceives as a gift. Since you are constantly aware of your own life, you can better focus on the things that are really important; hence you do not get lost in banal distractions.
In addition, dying patients can learn a lot about life through palliative and hospice work. According to Borasio, various studies show that critically ill and dying people have much clearer ideas about what their lives are really about than healthy people.
As the end of life approaches, they are aware of their ultimate priorities and unwilling to waste their last moments.
Therefore, keep in mind that death is an asset to your life. The fact that we do not have an infinite amount of time can encourage us to make better decisions and to accept one or the other risk.
Maybe you’re stuck in a job that’s no fun at all. Instead of wasting valuable lifetime, it may be worthwhile to quit and look for more meaningful alternatives. Even if you are scared of this drastic change.
Who is death?
I’m not joking right now. I basically did this myself during my times of despair: It can help you write a letter to Death by sharing your worries and fears. Put your words down as if you were writing to a long lost, good friend of yours.
As mentioned above, our fear of death is primarily because we cannot really identify or name death. He is much more of a seemingly big, dangerous construct. When portrayed as a person in movies or comics, we often see him as a brutal, scary grim reaper, which only adds to our fear.
A counter-concept to the idea of death is provided by Thees Uhlmann in his book “Sophia, Death and I”. Here, death appears as a male figure, which seems very sympathetic by its naive, funny and slightly planned way.
So if you imagine Death more like a friend who will pick you up someday, it may be easier for you to look more relaxed and less scared towards the end of your life. To intensify this idea, you can write a letter to Death. Explain to him your fears and worries and maybe write what you are thankful for.
Exactly because of this being a very delicate and uncomfortable topic, I wish that you comment even more than usual. Tell me all about your worries and troubles regarding everything related to dying. Pours your hearts and sous out. Here’s your chance, and trust me: I do understand what you are about to tell me.
Not only have I suffered the worst sort of Thanatophobia, but, in the midst of my darkest fears, I was the sole caretaker of my sister, who was dying on me little by little due to cancer. So, yes, I’m here for you and your fears. What you can expect from me are complete understanding, sympathy and self-proven advice. However, the first step is up to you.
Please, starlings, help me to spread the word about our website by sharing us with your families and friends on social media. I built this website in order to uplift people, giving them hope and returning their faith, once again. So spread the awareness.
Meanwhile, I’m sending you all my love and healing energy, harmony, fulfillment and an abundance of all your good desires. You are more unique spiritual entities, here to fulfill your very own mission for the good of the entire collective.
And for this, I want to thank you. Don’t forget to have fun, explore and expand, too, and keep in mind that you are cherished, appreciated and immensely loved. ~Namaste~