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th3dream3r's avatar

Are you afraid of death and eternity?

Asked by th3dream3r (82points) March 10th, 2016

I have been recently thinking about how it feels moments before death. Many people say it is like going to sleep. Others say they see a bright light and something that seems like an afterlife. However being a asleep and being dead are totally different. When I see how beautiful and great life is, I am really afraid to die. Just the thought that one day all of this will be over is really getting to me. Eternity is also a scary thought. When we die its either two things. We will be dead forever or live forever. If I had to choose, it would be to live forever in an afterlife. If there is one. Its really hard to enjoy life sometimes knowing in the back of your mind that one day all of this will be gone. I really want to feel that there is more to this life of ours. That we are just not here to live and die and that is it. If there is a God I really wish he would give us a sign that he is there.

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35 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

No, I am not afraid of death. What’s to be scared of? Either it’s a different plane, or I am fertilizer.

There are signs of God all around you, if you open your eyes to them. You see “how beautiful and great life is”, if that is not a sign of God’s presence, then nothing the Divine can do will serve as sufficient sign.

kritiper's avatar

You will not be aware of eternity because you will be dead and there is no afterlife or anything else. Have you ever had a medical or dental procedure where they put you to sleep? That is what death is like. No memories, no dreams, nothing.

Pandora's avatar

I’m more afraid of living a long and sickly life bedridden. To me a month would feel like an eternity. Death itself if quick isn’t anything to worry about. I believe in an afterlife so the only thing that may worry me when the time comes would probably be what if I’m wrong about hell. I don’t believe in hell so much. Long story as to why. But if there is a hell it would be coming back to life again. I think earth is our hell. I would rather just be plant food. In the end I will just pray for the best.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

No. I think you get over all that with a little age and experience. You learn that there are more important things, even fun things to think about and not to worry about shit you can do nothing about.

Fluther gets questions like these more than a few times a year. These questions have caused me to think about why so many people are afraid of death. I think becoming familiar with death might remove that fear. Most people today can live their whole lives and not ever watch someone die or even look upon a corpse. It’s a big mystery to them.

I suggest working as a volunteer for your local hospice for a few months. Meet and get to know people who are passing away while you make them more comfortable. It’s quite an education and you find out that most people come to accept their fate and die bravely. And most of them are old. It’s a good thing to know and see. It happens to everyone and it’s a pretty big deal that is hidden from most of the population. It’s good to have role models for the big events in your life. Then you can just walk away from it and not worry about it again until your time comes. You can walk away and live your life.

johnpowell's avatar

For a while I when I was 20 I thought about death a lot and I tried to preserve my life since the future was going to be awesome. The internet became a thing and flying cars were just around the corner. The future was going to be awesome. But it turned into me spending hours making sure I couldn’t be tracked so Google could serve me better ads.

20 years later we have Buzzfeed and Uber and that makes me sick.

I have given up on the future. So I am now content with vanishing off into the great unknown.

Here2_4's avatar

During your life is the only time you can worry about death.
If death be eternal, you won’t have any thought, and worry could not bother you. If there be life eternal, you will be euphoric, so, still no worry. By worrying now, you steal from yourself the time you have allotted for joy, fun, achievement.
Stop worrying, and get on with gettin’ on.

Stinley's avatar

I agree with @Here2_4. It doesn’t matter what you believe in – life after death, God, nothing – the fact remains that you only get one shot to live this life. Make the most of it.

NerdyKeith's avatar

No I’m not afraid of death. I was perfectly fine before I existed, I imagine it will be much the same after.

On the off chance that reincarnation is real, I would probably remember very little about this life and it’s end foe it to have any traumatic effect upon me in the next life.

At any rate, I am living for the now and the legacy I leave on this world.

josie's avatar

Oblivion was your natural state for the eternity prior to your birth.
You’re used to it.
Nothing to be afraid of.

LostInParadise's avatar

I would so like to believe in a religion. How pleasant it must be to believe that this is the best of all possible worlds, and that there is a Heaven that outlasts the Universe, and that we will meet again all those who have departed from this world. I have made a concerted effort to believe these things, but I can’t get them to stick. Atheism takes more courage than I can muster.

I have periodic bouts of depression and fear of death is part of it. Intellectually, if not emotionally, I understand that we have no choice but to make the best of the time we have, and it is best to be appreciative of the life we have been given, short as it may be.

Pachy's avatar

I don’t believe in eternity other than being fondly remembered by people I have somehow touched, and I’m not afraid of death per se, only prolonged and incapacitating illness or a horrible end to my life, like a plane crash.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Nobody has the first clue what happens after death so a small amount of fear and apprehension is probably warranted. I don’t worry about hell or things like that. Religion is simply a tool that both takes advantage of and eases that apprehension in people. I would worry about crazy things like not having a good life and being resurrected in a simulation and forced to live it over again and again. Let your mind think of any off scenario like that, could be the case. I don’t feel a need to leave a legacy, I just want to live in the moment while making gentile paths for a better future. That’s really all we can do, when the time comes let the adventure continue…or not..or both…maybe.

cazzie's avatar

My epitaph will read “Entropy happens’. I’ll only be afraid for the ones I leave behind if I go unprepared.

Coloma's avatar

Nope, not at all, I think it’s a maturity thing. The older you get the more accepting you become of your mortality and that of others. Our lives are but a drop of water in the great sea of life forms that have came and gone before us. Something is born and something dies every second of the day, every day.

I’d much rather be taken out by some magnificent mountain lion hiking on a beautiful trail than to linger with some hideous disease watching myself waste away clad in diapers and dependent on others to hold a spoon to my lips. Gah! I think sudden and unexpected death is the best or, very short notice, but most of us will not be that lucky. The way I see it, I was already “dead” for eons before I was born, so a return to that state of nothingness holds no fear as ” I” will not be aware that I have entered into a state of eternity.

tinyfaery's avatar

Nope. Sweet oblivion.

flutherother's avatar

Endless Time

Time is endless in thy hands, my lord.
There is none to count thy minutes.

Days and nights pass and ages bloom and fade like flowers.
Thou knowest how to wait.

Thy centuries follow each other perfecting a small wild flower.

We have no time to lose,
and having no time we must scramble for a chance.
We are too poor to be late.

And thus it is that time goes by
while I give it to every querulous man who claims it,
and thine altar is empty of all offerings to the last.

At the end of the day I hasten in fear lest thy gate be shut;
but I find that yet there is time.

Tagore

Cruiser's avatar

When I was 10 years old as life was slowing draining from my body in that hospital, I found myself in that white light where stood my grandfather I had never met. I was so excited and the feeling of that moments was warm, loving and euphoric to say the least. I only got upset when he told me it was not yet my time and I had to go back to my mom. My expectations of death are warm and comforting.

Pachy's avatar

“I’m not afraid of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”
― Woody Allen

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

(It was just too juicy to pass up)

Just the thought that one day all of this will be over is really getting to me.
If you believe this world is just this world and we live and die basically for no reason than to acquire wealth, power, or fame which can be realized before one is dead, once you breath your last, all of that is irrelevant as you would no longer exist to even worry about it much less know you are gone.

Eternity is also a scary thought.
Only to those who are uncertain where they will spend it.

When we die its either two things. We will be dead forever or live forever.
Only this fleshly tent of corruption and iniquity will die, *the soul WILL live forever someplace; one very great and the other in unimagined horror.

If there is a God I really wish he would give us a sign that he is there.
The signs are there, they are everywhere in nature and science, He has shown He exist less smacking man beside his stubborn head with a 2×4”. However, if one never wants to accept the facts they see and attribute it to whatever logic or reasoning that makes sense to them, then they will never find Him even though they walk past evidence He is right here, daily.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It just makes me sad. My kids and grandkids will miss me.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

^ No, it won’t, it will only matter while you have breath in your body and worry about it. If the world is just the world, you will not even know you are dead much less have a conscious though of being missed by anything, not even a dog.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central may I ask what you re talking about? Thinking about it makes me sad, so I don’t think about it. I’m fully aware of what it means to die.

Now, if I said, “After I die I will be sad,” or “I’ll miss my grandkids when I die,” that would be stupid, and I could understand your comment in that context. But I didn’t say that.

Cruiser's avatar

@Dutchess_III I will ask you to replay the time you previously lost a loved one…of course you were sad but at the same time prior to their death and I am sure for some time after you recounted many a happy memory and I am sure those you leave behind will do the same. With my mom in hospice at this very moment….yes there are weepy moments but 90% of the day is sharing happy memories, stories and laughable moments we and her friends who call on her all share. I can’t remember when I laughed (and cried) this much. It is truly a beautiful thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, sure. I lost both of my parents and just recently I lost a young nephew-inaw. I know what it’s all about. I remember the good times and the bad, and I miss them. My grandkids will miss me. And that’s kind of nice, actually. I would hate to die thinking that no one would even care. Or worse, leaving this kind of “legacy” behind.
And I know that sometimes the living can worse than the dying.

And I am so sorry for the grief you’re feeling in the middle of all the emotions, @Cruiser. I know how that feels too.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Dutchess_III Thinking about it makes me sad, so I don’t think about it.
On further thought, thinking on who would miss you when you are gone isn’t necessarily a fear of death or the hereafter. However it is irrelevant because it is illogical if life and death is as you believe. In your belief once dead you are nothing so to think of who would miss you after you are gone is a waste of thought since you will not cat or have the ability to even care or know it once you die. What you left, who you left, how you left it is all irrelevant, if they found the trail of dead bodies, the stash of cash you embezzled from the orphanage, etc. won’t matter, or what family members have to deal with the fall out because you will not exist. So, if a fear of death comes from what others might think or if they miss you, irrelevant, you will not have no capacity to care or know so it is wasted thought and undue worry.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central At the moment I am alive and I think and I have emotions. You’re trying to take this to crazy levels for some reason that I can’t begin to understand.

cazzie's avatar

I know that once I die, I’m gone and no longer thinking or conscious. What worries me is the time of knowing I’m dying to the time I die. I want to be prepared and have organised things for those I will leave behind because I won’t matter any more, except in their memories and what ever foresight I manage to put into fixing this past my demise for the betterment and comfort of my loved ones. I don’t want to have regrets as I lie there knowing I’m going to go and I would hate to be helpless in any way to not fix anything I may have not sorted out. THAT is my only worry. I also don’t plan on dying with anything valuable. If my body parts can be useful I hope they are taken and used to save sight, or the life for anyone. That will also give me peace of mind.

Stinley's avatar

Just because I don’t think that there is anything after death, doesn’t mean I don’t feel sad to think of my loved ones after I am gone. In fact if I did believe in an afterlife then I would not feel so sad surely, because I would see them in that afterlife. I could still feel sad that we were no longer enjoying this wonderful life that we have here and now.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do wish I could come back and haunt them. They deserve it!

cazzie's avatar

Yeah, haunting would be cool. We kid that my mother sent an ice storm on the day of her funeral because we framed and displayed a picture she didn’t like of herself. We all love the picture, but she was embarrassed of it. It is of her, at about 21 years old, in a swimsuit, on a beach on the East Coast. She looks like a knock-out.

NomoreY_A's avatar

I think it was Mark Twain who once quipped: “I have no particular fear of death. After all, I didn’t exist for a billion years before I was born, and it never caused me the slightest inconvenience”.

Coloma's avatar

^ My sentiments exactly, minus the S.C. quote.

NomoreY_A's avatar

@Coloma Great minds think alike : )

Coloma's avatar

@NomoreY_A Hah! I said the exact same thing above in my post and while I am a Mark Twain fan ( live in his old haunting grounds ) I never had heard that, particular quote.

NomoreY_A's avatar

Hey, it’s the Grim Reaper! Can I call ya Grim, or is it Mr. Reaper to me? Heh, just kidding pal – hey, nice shroud, know where I can get one? Yea, well – have your people call my people, we’ll do lunch.

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