Overcoming The Fear of Death

Fear of Death

Science tells us that the only thing in the universe that cannot be destroyed is energy.  The world of spirituality uses different words, but delivers the same kind of awareness. If you truly believe that you are energy, you begin to lose the fear of all fears – the fear of death. When you stop fearing death you gain a deep confidence in living. Death is a given that everyone will experience, yet the denial of death is very prevalent. People fear the unknown qualities of death. The separation from the life we are living, and from the people in it, has an inherent sadness. But to fear all the emotions, mysteries, and change that death brings only makes it more difficult to experience. Thinking of death as a fundamental part of life is the first step. Accepting all the feelings that come with it is the way to face the fear.

Celebrating Life

If we learn more about death, from both a scientific and spiritual perspective, it becomes more familiar and integrated into life. Celebrating life should be tied to death. Many cultures have rituals that people grow up with that bring death into territory where it is defused and natural. Even when death is sudden, if you have worked through a fear of it, you will be prepared to move out of this life with the knowledge and peace of mind that you have lived the best and fullest life that you could.

Consciousness Kills Fear

Behind the fear of death can also be the fear of regret, thinking we’ll leave this world with guilt or worry. While alive, we are caught up in people, things and situations. As death demonstrates, all of these are transitory. Instead of gripping what we cannot hold on to, realizing that what counts as you move through this realm – what kind of person you’ve been, who and what you’ve enriched, and the love you gave and received – is all that matters. While alive, you can cultivate the seeds of happiness and positive actions that travel with you as you move into death. That happiness and positivity will continue to grow in the living world in those you have affected.

Living A Meaningful Life

What is a meaningful life? Is it measured by how you compare to other people, by your achievements, or what your friends will say about you when you’re gone? You must find your own meaning, and embrace it for yourself. One of the most relevant aspects of life is that its nature is transient. Western cultures have distanced death from the living. People fear it because they remove themselves from death until it’s a reality for them, whether facing their own death, or the loss of a loved one. At that point, there’s no familiarity or acceptance.

There’s a balance that has to be struck between fear of death and focusing on life. Contemplating death is healthy. If you deny death you won’t have the opportunity to prepare for it and connect it to the living world. Taking the fear of death and channeling it into positive actions is a perfect example of how fear can inform us. When fear becomes obsessive and paralyzing it will interfere with life. Since our time on this planet is relatively short, worrying about death, in a way that doesn’t help us to understand it and to placate it, will lead to suffering. It may be the inherently scariest of fears, but processing death in a way that celebrates life is a goal that begins with examining our fear.

If you face death honestly and with introspection, the fear surrounding it will lessen. You cannot be truly fearless about life until you begin to confront the fear of death.

Derek O'Neill

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash