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(9 Posts)
lounear35 Wed 29-Apr-15 22:54:17

I'm terrified of dying.......
I'm not ill or any thing but lately I'm having panic attacks when all is quite in start thinking about dying how in won't see husband children grandchildren. Will I know I'm dead.
I go to church regularly I believe I god and believe and tell my children we all meet again in heaven but I struggle myself with it I can hardly breathe when I think about it all.....I know u r gonna say wise up I'm daft, is anyone else scared

One of the things I notice is that in our 21st century society we are not familiar with death. In the past people died at home and not in hospital so it was a much more everyday event. We are all living longer and the illness that would carried away the young, frail and elderly are no longer fatal due to improvements in health care. So death is something we see every night on the TV but may not have first hand experience until later life when our own parents die in their nineties perhaps. So it isn't unreasonable to be afraid of death as it is unknown and unfamiliar, but to have panic attacks sounds is if there might be something deeper going on.

It might be worth mentioning this to your doctor. If you do go to church regularly then speak to the minister or priest who is unlikely to have training in this area but may well know someone who does.

Not sure that helps but it is meant kindly.

VelvetGreen Thu 30-Apr-15 11:47:12

I certainly don't think you're daft. It is inevitable and unknowable. Fear is entirely natural, but it shouldn't be to a point that it is affecting your life.

Has there been a particular trigger? I had a complete crisis about this after i had my ds. After a while i realised that it wasn't death as such i feared but separation from him. I thought i'd got past that when i then had a bad health scare that sent me back into a spin.

It helped to remember that there was nothing to fear before i was born so nothing to fear at the other end. I also think, as greenheart has said, that we are very shielded from death - when it is present it almost seems to surprise us. There is a Buddhist tradition of meditating on your body in death and decay - it probably sounds rather morbid but what it does do is bring you to a point of acceptance of our place in the world and the finite nature of our physical selves.

I also found that the meditation brought me to an understanding that we are not our bodies. Obviously how you interpret what we are depends on your beliefs (or lack of them). I'm not a Christian so can't help bolster your faith on that front, but i do believe that we are more than the sum of our physical parts. The Buddha, rather wisely imho, refused to be drawn on what happens to us after death, as it is simply impossible to know for sure. He focussed on what we can do to alleviate suffering and unhappiness in the life that we do know about. That is what i try to do now - live very much in the moment and try to experience each second as fully as i can.

Sorry if that's not much help to you, but i wanted you to know that you are not alone in feeling like this, and to offer a different perspective.

JoanHickson Thu 30-Apr-15 11:50:42

The world managed just fine before you were born and it will when you are gone.

You will either die and all go blank like a sleep. Go to pergatory, Heaven, Hell or be reborn according to many.

Just do good when you are here, ask for forgiveness give others and give your soul the best chance.

OutwiththeOutCrowd Thu 30-Apr-15 13:57:42

I am sorry your fear of death is overpowering you. As VelvetGreen says, it is an understandable and natural fear but it shouldn't take over your life!

I know you say you are not sick but has someone close to you died or been seriously unwell? Thinking about the mortality of others can bring with it thoughts of our own. If the fearful feelings are seriously encroaching on day-to-day life, some counselling might be beneficial to try to find out if there is anything that has happened or is happening in your life that might be a trigger for your feelings.

I sometimes contemplate death and worry about leaving behind those I cherish – just as you do. My DS is still quite young and I want to be here to care for him. And I hope when my time does come that I will have done enough to leave a warm sustaining afterglow in his mind that will stay with him throughout his life.

Of course, none of us knows what death feels like or if fearing it is reasonable. However people who have had near death experiences (NDEs) usually describe their fleeting encounter with the early stages of death as positive.

I knew someone who had a heart attack. He went into cardiac arrest on the operating table and had to be resuscitated. His personal experience of the event – his NDE – involved him looking down from a vantage point in front of and above his own body at the doctors working on his body in an attempt to revive him. He felt surprisingly calm and happy for someone who was detached from his physical self according to his own subjective experience. For him, the incident removed any fear he had of death.

There are many similar stories of NDEs out there, some quite detailed. Reading some of these accounts might make you feel less scared. Some would argue that the experiences are not real in any absolute sense – they are just the strange last offerings of a dying brain. But subjective experience is all any of us have to go on when it comes to knowing reality and NDEs are real - often hyper-real - to the experiencers.

A lady called Anita Moorjani had a particularly vivid NDE.

If you listen to her being interviewed, I think – and hope – it might steady you.

TheMagnificientFour Thu 30-Apr-15 14:06:25

I agree that fear of death is quite normal and common, more so now when we are so used to live longer, people are dying in hospital and death is seen as 'abnormal' (eg after an illness that 'should' have been cured) rather than part of what life is.

However, if your fear of death is getting so much in the way of your life, then I would go and see your GP. Regardless of why you are fearful, if fear is affecting your life, then a visit to the GP is your first port of call.

If you are part of a church, I would also go and talk about death with your minister/religious person to perhaps get more clarity on that front too.

lounear35 Fri 01-May-15 07:42:18

Thanks folks just a wee blip feeling loads better now

niminypiminy Sat 02-May-15 13:51:31

Glad to hear you are feeling better lounear35.

Other people have given really good advice, and I've just got one more suggestion. Sometimes our fears can be helped if we face them and make some preparations. So you might find it helps you to make a will, to decide who you will ask to look after your children if you should die, to leave some instructions about your funeral, to put all your financial stuff in one place so it's easy to find and go through.

This all sounds a bit morbid, but it might help you to feel that you are a bit more in control. Sometimes doing something practical can give us a kind of peace that we can't find through thinking about things. And it would be really, really helpful for your family - the time after a death is a nightmare anyway, but if the person dies without a will, and without any indication about a funeral and so on, it's even worse.

fulltothebrim Sat 02-May-15 16:56:42

What were things like before you were born? My guess is that you didn't have any concerns at all. Same with death.

I hope we don't all meet in heaven, as there are a number of people I would rather not see.

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