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poofandmook's avatar

Does anyone else get so overwhelmed they panic when thinking about what happens after we die?

Asked by poofandmook (17272points) August 1st, 2008

I was reading Nikipedia’s question about why we get old, and as usual, I started to panic almost instantly at the thought of what happens after we die. It happens practically every time the subject is brought up. I ponder it for about 15 seconds before I feel the panic coming, and sometimes when I can’t get it out of my head, I have a full-out panic attack. I’ve always been on the fence about religion, so I don’t have a secure “source of information” to trust on what happens when I’m gone. Afterlife? Reincarnation? Endless black?

Am I the only one who can’t get a grip? lol

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27 Answers

lefteh's avatar

I don’t get overwhelmed or panic. I figure that if I’m dead, I won’t be able to feel the incinerator.

flameboi's avatar

I don’t panic, I’ll “follow the light” (a friend of mine had the light tunnel experience),
If I come back, I’d love to be an eagle, if not, an angel will be fine (I don’t think I have enough points to get it…)
What happens after we die is the “no answer” sort of question…

jlacombe's avatar

I do not panick, but a feel really knowing i will die someday

poofandmook's avatar

it’s not the death I panic about. It’s after the death is said and done.

Scrumpulator's avatar

When I die, There are things that I look forward to, This is under the assumption that I have been a good boy, and this alleviates all panic. whether or not it will really happen I still keep it in the for front of my mind, it is a source of great calm
1 To fly through the universe and see a supernova up close
2 Watch every step (from the point of view of my feet) of the life I lived
3 Look at other planets and explore them
4 Help people out
5 Have conversations with ex-people that helped change the world
6 Watch humanity as it expands in science and travels the universe over the eons

PupnTaco's avatar

Not me. Odds are I won’t know the difference.

Scrumpulator's avatar

@PupnTaco I like that response, somehow I feel as I wont know the difference either. But that the doors of perception and possibility will be opened further then they are in this plain of existence

marinelife's avatar

I do not panic, P&M. I look at this way.

1. I am going to die and I can’t stop that so I need to accept it.
2. After I die, if there is no afterlife (which I consider the most likely scenario) I won’t feel or know anything so there is not any point in panicking.
3. If there is an afterlife, great, I’ll find out then what it is and go from there.
4. The best thing I can do is live my life now in a way I feel on the whole good about, and work in enjoying the live that I have.
5. Wasting energy worrying about something that happens in a nebulous later is wasting the life and time I have in the present.

Shep's avatar

You weren’t alive for the first 13.73 billion years of the universe’s existance… did you find those 13.73 billion years to be particularly unpleasant or traumatic?

Me neither. I figure being dead is pretty much like that.

hearkat's avatar

You are not alone… the thought of nothingness or eternal damnation has kept me awake many, many nights. I was raised Presbyterian, but had friends of other religions, so it’s always bothered me… How do you KNOW which choice is the right one, and what behaviors will get me a golden ticket to paradise?

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come more to terms with the unanswerable question, and make my choices in life based on what allows me to sleep with a clean conscience at night. But I still look at those with very devout beliefs and wonder how they can be so sure that their lifestyle will make all the difference.

poofandmook's avatar

lol wow, I’m starting to feel like a freak.

I’m not sure why I do that… but I do know I’ve been that way my whole life. My dad said that when I was a kid, I used to sit and wail that I didn’t want to die. He was completely dumbfounded because he had no idea where the hell I came up with that.

Indy318's avatar

@poofandmook, maybe your panicing at the fact that death is in one part of life everyone experience (oh yea, taxes too). One doesnt know when it will happen or where. People may regret the fact that their work in this life, even if you believe in an after life or not, is left incomplete. I hope for a natural, peaceful death but may never be granted that. So the best view on life is to live it to the fullest, not to worry about death because there is no way of knowing when it may visit.

btko's avatar

I think about it a lot too poofandmook.

For me to get my mind through it I think of energy. The energies throughout the Universe change constantly. There is energy within us, whether simple bio-electricity or something more, will leave us and flow through the universe. You probably won’t be you, but you will still be around in some form or another.

trumi's avatar

It is completely normal. I went through a phase of minor panic attacks and stress when I would get overwhelmed by the thought of infinity, the endlessness of it all, and the meaningless of everything (from a nihilist perspective). I think its identical to what you’re going through, and I know others that have felt the same.

Death is the end of all things, good and bad, and should be feared, at least in the respect that to lose your life is to lose everything you hold dear.

As an atheist, my opinion is to give up on thinking about death, afterlife, the universe, and other things you have no control over. Live life to the fullest, but respect that life must end and that death will come. I don’t mean “Ignore the rest of the world”, because as small as we are we can certainly affect the world. Love others, let others love you, and try to leave the world a little better than how you found it.

Good luck.

flameboi's avatar

One day Johnny, 10, was thinking about dead, and goes to her mom and pops up the question, “Mom, what happens when we die?” And her moms tell him, “well son, if you are a good kid, and go to church on Sunday, you will go to heaven”.
Johnny replies “Mom, we are catholic right?”, Her mom looks in his eyes and tells Johnny “Yes sweetie, we are Catholic”.
Johnny was puzzled, after a minute goes to her mom again “Mom sorry, but Peter, the kid in my class I play video games with is Jew, and Jake, the guy that sits with me in the school bus is Evangelic, Mira, the cute girl I like is Hindu, Aoshi, the Japanese exchange student is devoted to Shintō, Megan, the girl with the hippie parents practices Buddhism, and Luiz, the guy that dresses in black all the time believes in the force (?). They are all my friends , if I die, I’ll never see him again because we have different beliefs, right?”
Her mom didn’t know what to answer, so she kissed him good night and went to bed…
Johnny grew up and had a wonderful life, he became a father and eventually a grandfather, until the inevitable happened.
Johnny went to heaven, and guess what, all of his friends were there…

flameboi's avatar

I wrote this when I was 15 and I wanted to share with the collective… :)

gooch's avatar

I don’t worry I believe I know what happens and I will be ready when the time comes. I am a Christian and truly belive what my Bible says.

TheHaight's avatar

I just tell myself that it will be a beautiful place, werever I go and I’ll be there with all my loved ones that have passed before me. You aren’t alone- I think about it a lot as well but try not to freak out. I just have a feeling it’s going to be better then earth.

trumi's avatar

Well, I hope you’re right. :)

TheHaight's avatar

I hope so too!!

stratman37's avatar

I agree with gooch, but I’ve been in some forums where you get flamed mercilessly for even bringing up Christianity. I’m not one to shove my beliefs down someone’s throat, so just give this http://www.wikihow.com/Accept-Christ-As-Your-Savior an honest try and if God disappoints you, you can always go back to what you were doing!

trumi's avatar

Lol. I’m taking a screen shot of that :D

Thanks for the advice statman.

JasonH's avatar

i freak the hell out when i think of what happens after i die dude totaly sucks!

beccalynnx's avatar

i don’t freak about it. but i’m not a panic type of person. i’ve always been a rather laid-back and calm person. plus, i believe that when i die i’ll join in some sort of “brahman”. maybe heaven. where all of our souls will join together. and it’ll all be good.
and i’d just like to give honest kudos to stratman. even though it was a kinda weird link, i still think it was cool.

JasonH's avatar

who knows ill probably be a dung beetle now wouldnt that be exciting! roll poo across the desert. :)

JamesL's avatar

@Shep
So you are a fan of George Carlin?

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Most of what I believe is rooted in tibetan and buddhist theologies with a little theoretical astrophysics thrown in there.
I watch The Universe on the History channel and it had an episode on how the universe might end. The ultimate death, you could say. Not to scare you or anything. But it states that what might happen is that when the black holes have “eaten” everything they will destroy themselves and a new big bang might occur. This is only a theory, so don’t quote me on it. I see that as a birth of a new universe after the death of an old one. Like when a supernova becomes a neutron star. The death of one leads to the birth of another. Reincarnation or recycling, if you will.

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