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AIBU? think about death LOADS?

24 replies

ProperStumped · 11/06/2013 22:46

I'm not obsessed with death or anything. It's just that as I get older, I think what it will be like when it happens, what I'll die of, will it be an accident or a disease, or will I be lucky enough to die of old age? What will happen to my children? I could make myself cry thinking about it.. but not in a morbid way, if that makes sense?

Someone once told me that over the age of 30, you think about death at least once a day.

Does anyone else do this? How do you put the thoughts out of your mind?

OP posts:

Lonelybunny · 11/06/2013 22:51

Well I'm 29 and had some bad anxiety issues recently . I'm terrified of getting cancer :-/ I think I've driven my GP mental Shock I also get upset over things like my children getting older which seems to be very quickly and me not wanting to get old etc and what would happen to my babies if u did get cancer etc ...... It's really quite horrible :-/


Doodledumdums · 11/06/2013 22:51

I do this, it's horrible. I have had CBT because I get so anxious about it. I wish I thought about it once a day, that would be nice compared to the amount of times I actually think about it! It is actually taking over my life at the moment. Now that I have a baby, I also project my fears on to him, so am constantly thinking about what could happen to him or to me, and to DH.

No advice i'm afraid, but just wanted to say that you aren't alone. Really hope that someone comes along with some advice. Smile


aldiwhore · 11/06/2013 22:53

I think once a day in detail is probably too much and not healthy.

I think 'often' isn't necessarily unhealthy, so long as the thinking make you live life more.

If you're sat in the house, turning down opportunities for living, allowing relationships to slide, then it's not good for you.

The bottom line is of course, you will die, you cannot really choose who or when you do (unless you really believe there's nothing more worth living for and are able to end things) you can hope it's quick, or quiet, you can only prepare your children to cope with their life beyond you (and you should do that whilst living certainly!).

The best preparation for death is life.

I don't think you can simply 'put it out of your mind' BUT I have found that if I follow through the wondering I act. So, how will my children cope without me? I follow through and then ask, how can I prepare them now for the future?

I always wear clean knickers.

But my biggest fear is dying slowly, so slow I don't even notice, but if that's for me I can't change it. I do have a lot of very open conversations with family (my parents, siblings, DH... not the children just yet) about 'what comes next' and feel like we've covered most angles.

I write a lot. Re-read and delete, noting important musings. I have ONE PAGE of thoughts editted from 20 plus years of musings. I aim to leave only 2 at most!


Sunnysummer · 11/06/2013 22:59

Have you had many deaths in your past, or recently? I've always thought a lot about death (and had my funeral planned from the age of 10), but put it down to having multiple close family members die very young, which gives you a strong sense of your own mortality...Hmm

Personally I think that awareness of death can be a good thing to drive you on and to focus on what really matters. After all, in past generations (and even now in other cultures) it was far more common to experience death and to make yourself conscious of it with traditions around mourning, Day of the Dead etc. Given that death with come to everyone we know, in a way I find it odd that we don't ALL spend more time thinking about it.

However, if you find these thoughts intrusive then it's another case. Mindfulness meditation helps me to keep things in balance - and although I'm no doctor here, so experts correct me - if your thoughts are strong, obtrusive and recurrent then it can be linked to OCD so it may be worth speaking to a professional and getting some help.


IndiansInTheLobby · 11/06/2013 23:02

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProperStumped · 11/06/2013 23:13

It is horrible Lonelybunny I don't like it at all.

Doodledumdums - when my dc were babies/toddlers, I used to have what I called 'morbid visions'. I used to imagine going up to their bedroom and being met with a dreadful murder scene. I'd imagine them falling over and cracking their heads open etc. Speaking to other mums around that time, it was quite common. Dreadful though.

aldiwhore - I don't think about it every day in details, but it definitely crosses my mind briefly every day in some way. I do agree with your philosophical viewpoint though, I'm quite settled with the idea of death, quite accepting. I just think about it too much without meaning to.


OP posts:

Doodledumdums · 12/06/2013 00:04

I have visions like that too, though mine always seem to focus on car accidents for some reason and I vividly imagine being in horrible crashes where my DS gets stuck in the car etc. I've not spoken to any other mums about it as I thought it was just me being a bit crazy, but maybe it would help to speak about it.


Whatalotofpiffle · 12/06/2013 00:14

Yes... Apparently the Tibetan book of the dead is good if you are thinking about it a lot


HollyBerryBush · 12/06/2013 07:13

I do sometimes think I'm worth more dead than alive ..... all that lovely life insurance and pensions.


Chiggers · 12/06/2013 08:04

I think about death loads too. I'm not afraid to die at all because I don't think we really die as such. I personally believe that we just use our physical bodies as a vessel for this life and when we die, that is the transition stage between this life and the next. I believe our soul/spirit/essence is the source of our emotions and it never dies.

Without one we would merely be biological machines.


YouStayClassySanDiego · 12/06/2013 08:14

I went through a period of severe anxiety and during my first panic attack I was convinced I was about to have a heart attack or stroke, we were in the car and dh took me to A+E , it was awful.

Since then, although given a clean bill of health and cbt I do think about death a lot. I'm 45 and worry about all sorts, It doesn't help that I read the obituaries in our paper and I notice the passing of people close to my own age, I should stop, I know!

I try to focus on the 'what will be will be' mantra and not be frightened.


ssd · 12/06/2013 08:14

I agree with Chiggers^^

and I'm glad another poster wrote this " dr said that when something shakes your world it is very common for death anxiety issues to crop up"

my mum died recently and I think about it all the time, and I think about getting cancer/dying all the time, I feel its really got hold of me and I cant shake it...every symptom is something fatal

its horrible op, I agree

BUT the actual dying, I dont feel thats bad, its just the fear of dying and leaving my kids to feel as bereft as I do that just kills me


FrenchRuby · 12/06/2013 08:49

I do this a lot :/ it really freaks me out. The other night I couldn't sleep because I'd convinced myself that when I go on a plane next month it was going to crash and I'd die, I just couldn't get it out of my head. I get the same before any big trip I go on by myself, flying, coach, train, car, I convince myself that there's going to be an accident and I'll die. I have no idea why.


HoppinMad · 12/06/2013 09:15

I think about death, probably less now than in my teens but I still occasionally imagine if something awful happened to me during the day, what would happen to my DC as DH gets in late from work most days. Its a horrible nagging fear in the back of my mind. It reared its head massively a few years ago after the birth of DC1 and would be checking baby's breathing through the night. Was awful at the time but managed to overcome it after the initial newborn months. I was told its quite normal for new mothers.

Hmm looking back I think think the death anxiety all started whilst growing up, in my very early teens. There were no significant deaths or anything but I remember having panic attacks in the night thinking about death, hated sleeping alone, and from around the age of 12/13 believed I would not actually make it to my 16th birthday. But by the time I reached this milestone, thankfully I was a lot better.

I think for those who follow a particular faith, that can help hugely. Death is written of extensively in most faiths, as it is the inevitable and most speak of an afterlife. Its difficult that its out of our control how, when and where we die. I feel it has helped me to come to terms with the death topic by my learning of what will happen during and after death. It isn't so much as the 'unknown' now, and as there will be an afterlife I will be reunited with loved ones eventually.


cheeseandchive · 12/06/2013 09:26

I think alot about this too and can empathise with the 'morbid visions'. I often worry about something happening to DH, what I would do etc. I find it so easy to get caught up in it that it's too late before I realise it's unhealthy. I'm learning now though to try and stop it before it gets there and really upsets me.

I've actually found it harder since DH and I got married. You also mention thinking about your kids, proper. My theory is that when you have invested so much into someone (like children or a partner) it makes you vulnerable at a very deep level because you can't control if/when/how you will lose that. We all know we will lose them, and I wonder if it's some kind of attempt at regaining control (and attempting to prepare ourselves for) a situation that is inevitable and we actually have no control over.

Sorry if that sounds a bit morbid but I am really trying to combat these thought patterns myself so have been thinking alot about where it comes from!


BettySwollocksandaCrustyRack · 12/06/2013 09:30

I have a terrible morbid fear of death which sometimes keeps me awake at night. I am not so much worried about death but more afterwards, for some strange reason.

I went to a funeral when I was 10 and it really screwed with my mind.

I am not so bad since being with my mum when she died and seeing how peaceful it can be.

I also worry about my DS dying too.

I really should see someone about it because as I said, sometimes I can't sleep for worryng about it.

You are not alone!!


specialsubject · 12/06/2013 10:17

it should not be occupying you every day - you need some help if this is the case. No shame in asking for that help.

I have elderly but active and healthy parents. I know that this will not always be the case, but I reckon there will be plenty of time to be sad when the inevitable happens. So now I am not sad.

same for me - I'm going to die too. So I have a will and am getting on with life.

remember the courage,wisdom and serenity prayer. This is a serenity situation.


ProperStumped · 12/06/2013 10:23

It doesn't occupy me every day - but I do find myself thinking about it.

I do believe in an afterlife, so I'm not actually scared of dying - but like someone else said, it's the idea of leaving my dc bereft, it fills me with dread. And how I would cope with leaving them.

I'm a really positive person day-to-day, definitely glass half full, but as I get older, these thoughts creep in regularly, and I really don't want them to! But it's impossible not to think about it.

In answer to someone else, there have been no recent deaths, I'm lucky enough to still have my parents - but my mum did have breast cancer last year, so I suppose that's brought things to the surface as well.

OP posts:

SilverOldie · 12/06/2013 13:10

I'm in my late 60s and don't think about death at all. I know I will die one day, until then, I just live my life. I don't believe in an afterlife, so ashes to ashes, dust to dust, finito.


Ehhn · 12/06/2013 21:55

Make a will, buy critical illness cover and life insurance. I have had all 3 since i was 18 (in part because I do v dangerous sports)

Practical solutions to give peace of mind as covers illnesses such as cancer, disablement and what will happen to dc, plus give them security should anything happen. Your will can stipulate guardians for dc, here they live & with whom and everything...


LadyRabbit · 12/06/2013 22:12

OP I wish more people thought about death every day and their inevitable mortality - I'm sure people would live more vitally and maybe do less shitty stuff as a result.


To quote an amazing writer called Dan Millman:

Death is perfectly safe. Use it as a constant advisor.

(Wine is a helpful companion though too.)


WildlingPrincess · 12/06/2013 22:13

I think about it constantly.


Mrs3chins · 12/06/2013 22:29

I had bad anxieties about losing my parents to the point of needing AD's and CBT. Then guess what? My dad died suddenly this year at 58, typical eh! BUT as horrendous as its been, it has taught me that I CAN cope and although I miss him dearly life does go on and it's there to be lived so make the most of it. So in a strange way it's helped my anxieties. Although Im worried new ones might creep up on me - me dying and not seeing my DS son grow up (19 months) but lets not go there....


maddening · 12/06/2013 22:42

At the start of 2011 my son was born, at the end of 2011 I held my gran's hand as she passed away and 3 days later was my last day at work as I took voluntary redundancy after 11 years there - since then I have definitely worried more about death than I ever have.

I picture different ways it might happen - imagine my last minutes in each scenario - I wonder about my son and family - the idea that people I love will die and hopeto god it is peaceful and in old age - then I wonder about the odds of that being for all of us. I try and rationalise it but then think that people who suffer tragic and painful deaths had those same odds possibly.

I am thinking about it less and less though - when I do I could scare myself shitless and easily think about it tooo much.

But that's the human condition isn't it - we mostly spend our time NOT thinking about it as you could sennd yourself silly doing so - it isn't positive, productive or healthy to think on it too much and whilst it is something that you should address sometimes throughput life from a spiritual-esk perspective in order to explore and understand what it means to you and your world generally we humans gloss over it.

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