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zensky's avatar

When did you first start thinking about death?

Asked by zensky (13294 points ) December 4th, 2011

If you haven’t yet – go to the next question, do not pass go.

If you have, was it because of an illness, old age, relative old age – someone else’s illness or old age – or just a fear of the unknown?

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17 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I’d say when my grandmother died – I was around 15.

SuperMouse's avatar

When I was 11 and watching my mom die.

Coloma's avatar

Ya know, other than a phase as a little girl where I worried about my parents or other family members dying I have never feared death. I fear a PAINFUL death and I fear what will become of my animals now that I am in my 50’s, but, I have worked out my wishes with my daughter.

I have especially, in my advancing wisdom, become even less concerned in the last decade. I love life but I’m also very at peace with the idea of my death. Hey, the circle of life, make space for the new crop of cubs. :-)

Symbeline's avatar

Around 11 or 12. I thought about it before, because I knew it existed under what we know it as. But even so, it didn’t feel like anything that was close to me. It was at the mentioned age that I thought of it seriously, under the line of thought that it’s gonna happen to me someday. Although nothing specific triggered that realization, besides just learning more about it.

smilingheart1's avatar

Well today I am thinking about it lots as it has touched close with the loss of my son-in-law’s best friend yesterday.

My life start was very rural and in those days the morticians set up the big old purple screen behind the coffin right there in the living room of the family home for “viewing.” So my first exposure was at about age 5 and there were a succession of them after that.

The first one was an old gentleman who had died after a ripe life and the second one was a mother of several children who collapsed without warning. Then there was about a ten year sabbatical until the grandparents started to go.

King_Pariah's avatar

Age 6 thought of it as an escape from the shame of being raped and convincing myself no one would believe me if I told them. First attempt, trying to get self torn apart on carousel by pinning foot to stationary object outside of carousel, unforunately/fortunately foiled by an elderly couple who were able to get my foot uncaught.

zensky's avatar

I hear you, @King_Pariah – and many of us have childhood traumas to overcome. I think it’s time you decided whether being saved was either fortunate or unfortunate.

King_Pariah's avatar

I’m not done attempting… I burnt my wrist open thanksgiving eve… Once again I didn’t bleed out. Oh well, some time, long sleeves, and some zinc oxide, hardly anyone will notice.

zensky's avatar

@King_Pariah You know that attempting suicide will be the death of you yet.

Coloma's avatar

Western society pathologizes death, makes it a fearful and dreaded, not to be seen, fully experienced, event.
We haul the bodies away quickly, make them up for aesthetic purpose, hide the reality of deaths natural process.
I truly think that this attitude had created more than just the usual existential dread, egos fear of annihilation. We hide death, where many other cultures celebrate death, embrace it, and while mourning occurs death is not seen as tragic or undeserved but the completion of the life journey.

We have a hard time coping with the FACT that we are simply another organism that has had it’s time. It is in the “personal” identity we afford to human life. Gazillions of organisms come and go every day, many species offspring only survive briefly, or, only a few out of hundreds or more.

Humans don’t cope well with accepting that they too are not any more or less important or significant than sea turtles. lol

Name the goldfish ” John”, give him the “story” of John the goldfish, create a family history, huge personal identity, well..that’s where the grief enters.

Sure, we live, we love and loss is painful, but really, is our death any more of less significant than the 20,000 Salmon eggs the turtle just ate? lol

Mariah's avatar

It’s hard to remember if I thought about it much before then, but I definitely started thinking about it when I was 14, when I got ill. And doubled when I was 16 and had a near death experience. I was so sick I made peace with my death every night before I went to sleep because I wasn’t sure if I would wake up.

YARNLADY's avatar

As soon as I was old enough to understand what it was – around age 4.

JLeslie's avatar

I became aware of it when I was around 8.

I thought about it when my grandpa died, I was 12 or 13, but not related to me dying.

At around 14 I became depressed and passively thought about suicide, but even then I did not really think about death, it was more thinking about escaping life.

When I became chronically ill I thought about death more, especially when I took a medication I was allergic to for 10 days. I really thought I might not wake up in the morning the last few days. It was the only time in my life I really felt impending doom, like a knowing death is near. I still did not think about what death would be, but that I would not be alive anymore.

In the last few years I think in terms of I could die anytime. I think I could live to be 80 or die tomorrow. I don’t think about it all the time, I am not obsessing in any way, but have moments where I feelvery aware that a lot of people die in their 40’s, and I feel like my health issues over the last 20 years are taking their toll.

Sunny2's avatar

When my aunt and uncle were killed in a plane crash. I shut my eyes and felt the void; the nothingness. That’s how I still see it, but it doesn’t bother me particularly. I’ve had an unexpectedly and surprisingly exciting life.

zensky's avatar

To all of my friends here who responded, or didn’t to this question – I know how it may have stirred up all kinds of emotions. Can I send out {{{{hugs}}}}?

rojo's avatar

This is going to sound strange but the first time I can remember SERIOUSLY thinking about death was in college after listening to a Rush song with the line “We are only immortal for a limited time”. That brought on some intense discussions with friends. Before that time is was just in passing and since then I have only dwelt on it at funerals.
I have noticed that since my father died in Feb. I have been looking at the Obits. in the paper instead of just glossing over them.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I was very young. When I was about 4 years old I saw my mother’s God-daughter die of meningitis. I think that is when I started to think about death and it scared the shit out of me for years.

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