Mental Health Thread

Do you fear death, dying, etc.?

  • Yes

    Votes: 12 24.0%
  • No

    Votes: 19 38.0%
  • Trying my best to not think about it

    Votes: 15 30.0%
  • Never really thought about it and I'm unable to come up with an answer on a spot

    Votes: 4 8.0%

  • Total voters


The resident reactionary recalcitrant
So, after I wished happy birthday to Black Abyss Babe in a thread that was called "Do you fear death?" and many people voiced their disappointmend that it was a "mere" birthday thread after all and since Ariana nudged me thus

Due to popular demand, Judas should open that thread for real.

I'm opening the real thing. So, my dear co-members, are you afraid of death, dying and the things connected? Are you scared of what's on the other side?

It would be unfair not to answer myself. Why, I admit that there was a time when I was afraid of death and of everything connected therewith quite much. Whether it was the failing of my body, premature burial, me lying in a closed casket, whether alive or dead, of either nothing or something that was waiting for me on the other side, the experience of going through something truly alone - even with your dearest by your bedside, this is still something that's only yours. Nobody's going to help you.

In fact, death as a tangible experience (though not mine) was even a theme of one of my worst nightmares I had - that is, I have repeatedly dreamed about murder, with me killing someone, with all the disgusting details, either the blood, the heaviness of the body, the struggling limbs, the redness in the face... and the unbearable chill of realising that it can't be undone.

And I admit that after my conversion and the experience I had since, with God and faith and people who live with both, I'm pretty much not afraid anymore. I really am not. In fact, while I try not to make myself look holier than I am, I kinda have a hard time taking death that seriously. And from what I know, at least according to our conversations, my wife has it the same way. On the other hand, I'm still fighting panic attacks from time to time (though it's getting much better over time). Only now these are pretty much disconnected from any thoughts of dying, it's usually something else.

However - and let me stress this - the fear of death was not the primary reason for my conversion, not even a secondary one and my loss of thanatophobia is not the main result of it, nor is it even explainable with "okay, so you believe in Heaven now", well, no, it's hard to explain, but it's not simple as that. Well, I'm probably in want of an explanation right now. Sorry.
I'm trying to stress this because I have often come across people who insist that fear of death (and afterlife) is either the primary motivation for religious behavior, the main explanation thereof or something like that and I'm trying to do my best not to support that idea in any way, because I firmly believe it's completely wrong (for example, Jewish relationship with the afterlife is a rather complex and there were probably strains of Jewish religion that believed in God, yet not in the afterlife that existed even as late as year 0, but this beyond the scope of the discussion).

So, do YOU fear death? And let me put this one here once again, for shameless dramatic effect :D

Oooh, the real thing! :okok:

Okay then, my two cents on the topic. I'm not afraid of dying per se and I'm not scared of what lies beyond, mostly because I don't think there's anything.
What really scares me, however, is how my death might affect others, most of all - my daughter. I have lost more than one loved one and it's the aftermath of having to deal with that which is scarier, I think. I'm not exaggerating my own importance, of course, but a child would always be affected the most.

You know what they say - you don't suffer when you're dead. Only the ones around you do. It's the same with being stupid.

So death doesn't scare me, but pain does. The thought of pain and suffering before death is terrifying.

Edit: Ooof, you jokers are making me feel bad for posting serious stuff.
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I definitely do fear death and being obsessive-compulsive, it actively bothers me on a daily basis. Less so these days, but it's only because other things have since replaced death as my primary driver of anxiety. It may come back eventually, because it's always in rotation.

There are two reasons why I fear death. The first is my age and my lack of experience in life. Being a young person, I have a lust for life, a lust for experiences, a lust for pleasure. The thought of my potential for self-actualization being taken away terrifies me. Which is the reason why my fear of death is usually tied to scenarios in which it is caused by the wrongdoings of other people.

The second reason is the same as Ariana, the effect my death would have on other people, or more specifically, my parents. I am an only child, and both of my parents are caring individuals who have always worked hard to make sure I was raised properly and that I had the means for self-actualization. They have told me that "You are the reason we still care", or "You are the reason we're hanging on" many times. As well-intentioned as those statements are, it makes a scenario in which I'm gone before them absolutely terrifying. My nightmares about death are always about my parents' reaction and their life after my hypothetical passing.
I've noticed this is a conversation people love to entertain, but it gets really uncomfortable really quick for most. They think it's easy because they subscribe to X or Y, or don't believe in jack shit, but they have never truly THOUGHT about it regardless of creed. Personally I have gone the whole gamaut. When I was younger I didn't think about it, then feared it and now... I don't care. I don't care for myself or how loved ones might react. Who cares, I'll be dead.

My GF wanted me to go with her to visit her father's urn at the church where it's kept. I just thought, "This is stupid, guy's dead, you're visiting ashes." Visiting graves and funerals aren't for the dead, they're for the living. Funerals and weddings are really the only time families as a whole really get together. In one you experience joy and in the other, usually, sadness. But both are communal experiences for the living. I still went and was supportive, I may be an asshole, but I'm not heartless lol.

Visiting graves.... My dad said it best, "Love me and visit me when I'm alive, not when I'm dead. When I die, encinerate me and flush me down the toilet." It's an attachment/closure thing. For example my GF, her father's death was unexpected, she still cries 2 years + after the fact. She wasn't ready to say goodbye. Me on the other hand, have been lucky. My grandparents were ancient, well over 90 when they died, my uncles too. My oldest aunt passed away Tuesday and she was well over 90 as well. Their physical health is gone, their mental health varies from not so great to gone. They start seeing dead relatives, etc. It's time to go.

One of my students told me a couple of weeks back that they had a workshop on safety before class. Being aware of your surroundings when going home, downtown, on public transport, etc to be safe. I told them, "If you want to be safe never leave your house, and even then, there's home invasions." Everything on this planet is trying to kill you, it doesn't have to be a thief or car accident. It can literally be ANYTHING. So why stress? Enjoy your time on this rock and when it's over it's over.

So personally, I don't fear death. Friends of mine have been murdered, died in car accidents, cancer, family members die young and old. At the end of the day they are no longer here physically. They live on in my memories and those of other friends and family, but one day those too will fade. IF I have a child, much less a grandchild, they won't care about my childhood neighbor that was gunned down. Never met him, never knew them, and might never hear about them. It might get passed on as, "My dad's friend..." faceless, nameless. I don't mind that for myself.
I try my best not to think about it, but when I do, it terrifies me, mostly because we simply don't know what lies ahead. All in all, it's not a subject I'm crazy to discuss.
I generally don't think of my death as affecting other people, and maybe I should start. I have things arranged so that in a sudden accident the stuff that needs taking care of would get taken care of. On a day to day basis, I have been considering the idea of death way too often lately, especially at night. I won't notice when I'm gone, of course - there's nothing after this life, as far as I can tell. I'd like something to exist, because I really, really, really love existing, and I'm sad it has to one day end.

I really find myself lamenting the eventual loss of my uniqueness. While I am not special, I am unique, and I make the universe more interesting by existing.
I don't think about it very often, but I have thought about it. Death is interesting. The ceremony & ritual of death is interesting. The thought of being buried or cremated etc (all those choices!); these, too, interest me. Death in literature interests me. And I can understand the stuff around death (Ariana's "before death") being something people worry about; dying alone for example. The effect on others; sure, that's something potentially uncomfortable to think about too, depending on personal circumstances. Being young & not having "lived life to the full"; again, yes, death may foil that ambition & that might be disappointing. But that's not the question. The question is: do you fear death itself. I don't. I don't believe in any religious afterlife either; imaginatively, maybe (interesting concept). But that doesn't bring fear any closer. There are many things to fear in the world, but nothing (for me) to fear about not being a part of it.
I really find myself lamenting the eventual loss of my uniqueness. While I am not special, I am unique, and I make the universe more interesting by existing.

I feel this way as well, and I'll go the extra mile and say that I do feel like I am more special, or at least more interesting, than most people are. Not because of a sense of superiority, but because I feel like I cherish life more and try harder to self-actualize than a lot of people whose vision of life seems to be to just "get by". Though this is, again, more about my concerns about self-actualization rather than a fear of death itself.
I do feel scared of death, but I've never truly figured out why. I don't believe in religion or any form of afterlife but a nagging part of me feels that there will be something beyond death that it isn't just eternal unconsciousness and that I won't be prepared for it and I'll suffer or something like that
You do know they're no longer active, right?

Oh. :(

OK, so my last comment was meant to be a joke, though perhaps in poor taste. I apologise for trying to be funny.

Some of what @The Flash said hit me quite hard actually, because I have similar thoughts. I haven't led the happiest life and have struggled with serious suicidal thoughts on at least two occasions. What stopped me, aside from the fact that I was considering ending my life over fucking nothing, was my family. We lost my grandfather on my mother's side quite unexpectedly and my younger sister was born premature and did not survive. I can't put my family through that again.