Social Question

josie's avatar

What is it about death that you fear?

Asked by josie (28690points) September 28th, 2010

Some people simply fear death. I do not really understand that. Death is inevitable, so that is that.
But some people fear the manner of death.

Nobody wants to die slowly, wasting away because of some degenerative or debilitating disease. That is understandable.

And when I was in the service, although we all accepted the possibility of death, some people (me included) worried about dying “badly” i.e. screaming in pain or panic.

So what is it about death that you fear?

Is it death itself?
Or the manner of death?

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42 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

I don’t fear death at all. I don’t want to die painfully or have it drag on and on and on.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I don’t fear death either. What is the point? Rather, I fear growing old enough to lose my mental and physical capacity. I also fear those around me dying. I do my best to keep fit and healthy both physically and mentally, but once those efforts become futile I hope someone around me is compassionate enough to euthanase me.

Austinlad's avatar

What @FireMadeFles said! Just let me ride off into the sunset.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I fear the manner of death: that it might hurt.

Blackberry's avatar

Touching a woman’s skin, driving with all the windows down when it is 75 degrees and sunny, laughing, that feeling of a light bulb turning on in your head when you learn something new etc etc. I just am afraid of dying slowly and painfully.

Plus…..when you’re dead, you can’t hear music like this anymore.

jesienne's avatar

About death,I fear nothing. I just don’t want to be slayed by anybody.


The fear of the “unknown”. That is what I fear. No one has ever really “died” for a substantial amount of time and come back and say what it’s about, so it’s the “not knowing” that is the most “scary” part of death. And of course, like you said, the manner of dying scares me. How I’ll die. I’ve always feared getting “burned alive” and/or slowly tortured (and hence suffering great pain) to be the worst kind of dying. :(

TexasDude's avatar

It means I won’t get to do stuff anymore.

And I like doing stuff.

Blackberry's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh You can go to Oregon, since that’s the only state where it’s legal I think. :)

Nullo's avatar

The dying. I don’t mind being dead, but something tells me that getting there is likely to be trouble.


@Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard I know exactly what you mean. So many fun and good things to do in this world, but so little time to do them. :(

tragiclikebowie's avatar

Well, being alive is pretty great. But hopefully by the time I die, I won’t want to be alive anymore.

wundayatta's avatar

Me not fear death neither. I won’t know I’m dead. I won’t know anything. I’ll have no consciousness and no awareness that I have no consciousness and that will be forever.

What I don’t like is the knowledge that death is imminent. That could make me fearful as I try to avoid it. It’s like holding on or trying to hold onto a rope that attaches to the lifeboat. But the current is too strong and you let go, angry and afraid that you can no longer fight it. You are about to lose, and that is the greatest loss ever.

I suppose it’s a comfort to know you won’t know you have that loss. But while you’re alive, it can be a real pain! Ironic, no?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I’m not afraid of death.. I am afraid of death’s delivery. Not knowing how or when it will come, hoping it’s relatively quick and painless, that’s the scary part.

iamthemob's avatar

it being the end.

anartist's avatar

the dying.

anartist's avatar

@Blackberry when my mother was very ill she expressed wishes to go to Oregon. I offered to go with her thinking that what she wanted to do was visit her twin sister’s gravesite. My siblings were up-in-arms against me, thinking I was willing to help her hasten her death when she was dearly loved and not in too much pain and fully possessed of her mental faculties. I dropped the subject entirely and never knew whether she had really wanted to visit her sister’s gravesite [her sister pre-ceceased her by about 3 years] in Oregon or whether she had another agenda. So she never paid her last respects to her sister, and we will never know what she wanted.

DominicX's avatar

I don’t care about how it would feel much (although I really don’t want to be murdered); for me, most of the fear is just that it is unknown. That I don’t know what’s going to happen, whether there’s an afterlife, whether I’m going to burn for eternity, etc.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@Blackberry At this stage I’ll be going to Holland – I think that is closer to home. Assuming I can anticipate my death though, I’ll be going mountaineering in Nepal, and I’ll die from over-exertion on top the world.

Jude's avatar

Pain and the fade to black part (nothingness).

Rarebear's avatar

That my family won’t be taken care of well enough.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I don’t fear death. What I do fear is stopping life while I still feel young, able and with so many things not yet experienced. My life has been full but I want more of the parts that really stand out to me as being “the way to go”.

YARNLADY's avatar

My only fear is a painful death. I would prefer to go peacefully in my sleep.

Pandora's avatar

Yep, nothing hard in being dead. Its the actual dying part thats a real bummer. No matter how brief I think its probably going to be hard before it isn’t unless its a massive vein explodes in my head.

majorrich's avatar

I’m not so sure that I fear death itself, or even the process of suffering and dying. I fear forgetting to do all the things I need to do before I die. If I prepared my child for the world that he has to face without me. If I said ‘I love you’ to the wife unit enough to last. For her to be the last thing I see. I don’t want to die alone.

Jabe73's avatar

The manner of death, not death iteself. Most people have a fear of the unknown whether they openly admit it or not deep down inside.

faye's avatar

I fear being confused and causing trouble and pain to my kids. That and pooping my pants.

truecomedian's avatar

I think the two most traumatic times in our life is birth and death. It’s obviously the unknown, what happens after we are separated from our physical bodies. I personally believe how we live determines how we die, and what happens after we die. This life has to mean something, right?

Kraigmo's avatar

I only fear it in the sense that my soul will (perhaps only in a flash) have a deep nostalgia for the things I love about planet Earth.

Also, the few deaths I’ve been with were not pleasant. Dying does not seem to be a painless or easy process in many cases.

I have no fear about losing myself though. I’m always here.

So, the manner worries me more.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. I worry about the manner of death and what happens after, but not the moment of death itself. I don’t want to burn alive as in a house, car, or jet crash. I don’t want to be eaten alive by some wild animal, or drown. When we die –if I was not bamboozled; which is impossible in my mind—, and there is no God, then I would never know it, I would just not exist anymore. However, since I believe I will be around for the afterlife I fear slipping and missing the chance at paradise forever, that would be worse than any death actually.

chocolatechip's avatar

What @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard said.

If I’m dead, then I won’t be able to exist (and I don’t believe in an afterlife). Whats worse than non-existence?!

Nullo's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central They say that freezing to death is a relatively nice way to go, if not for all that cold. The Kennedy Exit might be preferable, though.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ll add in like others that I don’t want a painful death or one that burdens others and I really really don’t want to poop myself.

Jude's avatar

I have seen the dying process. It isn’t pretty. So, yes, I fear that.

Scooby's avatar

Death itself holds no fears for me, my only fears of dying would be to die alone or in agony, to be eaten alive by some foul beast or murdered by some unscrupulous fiend. :-/

truecomedian's avatar

Falling down down, being finally totally plucked from this body and sent throught the cosmic waterslide that leads to the room, the void. Where we lose our entire conciousness, then we have a thought, then another, our awarness increases as we begin to sense we’re not alone. Eventually we are reunited with our spiritual family and reconnect with out core selves. Then the life we lived is quantified and we see how many prizes we won. Like the pink stuffed bunny, or a new pair of flip flops. When angels speak it is like the greatest music, when a spirit touches another spirit the greatest art is created, even if it’s just fleeting.

flutherother's avatar

May you go safe, my friend, across that dizzy way
No wider than a hair, by which your people go
From earth to Paradise; may you go safe today
With stars and space above, and time and stars below.

Lord Dunsany

Justice13's avatar

What I fear about death?
My answer: When people become so stupid, they forget how to spell death.

shariw's avatar

Not wanting to be left alone if he goes before me; not wanting to go before him and leave him lonely; definitely not wanting to step off the bridge together so it can be simultaneous. I guess that’s when I stop thinking about it and let my faith step in and tell me “It’s OK”. Hard to do sometimes but essential if you are going to enjoy life while you’re still here.

shariw's avatar

I heard a great quote in a movie one time. A dad was trying to alleviate fear in his children when they had just witnessed a grand-parent figure passing peacefully in his bed. They asked the dad if death was scarry…He replied, “Death ain’t nothin’...Hell! It’s LIFE that’s terrifying!” (lol)

gr8teful's avatar

I fear dying in an excruciatingly painful way alone and waking up again in Hell with all the Bad people and missing my family so much.If i could be assured I wasn’t going to Hell and in the next Lifetime I would be back with my Family and I would be a really Good Person I wouldn’t have such an uneccessary fear of death

shariw's avatar

I had a cat live to the incredible age of 22. On the day he had a stroke, I placed him on a blanket and pretty much knew it was time when he refused water from an eye-dropper. I was gently stroking his head when I leaned down and heard something remarkable. He was purring very softly and continued to do so until he expired. This kitty proved to me that death isn’t always painful or uncomfortable. Everybody knows feline purring is a sign of comfort. He was a great pet and I’ll never forget how he passed so peacefully. Actually lessened my own fears and doubts about death. I would say that all of us just hope not to be in pain when we go. I think that is the actual fear and not death itself.

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