Are you afraid of death?

In this thread http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=261942 someone mentioned being afraid of death. I was sort of taken aback. I’ve never known anyone who was afraid of death. I know plenty of people that don’t want to die an untimely death, given the choice, but I suppose there are quite a few people who are scared.

Are you? Why?

I think it is important to keep death and knowing that you will die (soon) apart. I would hate to “wait” for my death (like the death row example in the other thread) but I am not the slightest bit afraid of suddenly being struck by lightning.

Not afraid of it, but I am sometimes a little regretful that there’s no way to achieve all the stuff I have ever planned in any sort of reasonable timescale. Untimely death; yeah; anytime in the next five hundred years is going to be untimely, by my reckoning.

Normally I am not afraid of it, but once in awhile, I am fixed with absolute dread. I get to thinking about it reasonably and end up not so, but I suppose it comes from my background (ex-Christian, present agnostic).

When I first left my faith as a Christian, my fear of death was absolutely paralyzing until a friend of mine died. After that, I was pretty well ok.

“I’m not afraid of dying—I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” —Woody Allen

I am less frightened of death than I used to be. This may be simply a product of getting older (fifty is now just a few years away), or it may be that I realize that most of what I want to see accomplished on this earth is either done, or close enough that it will won’t matter too much whether I am here or not.

My kids are, if not grown, at least well on their way, and have established their own personalities, interests, and are working on their life goals. They are reasonably (for teenagers) level-headed, and seem to have absorbed enough of my values that I will not be unhappy with the choices they will make. Of course, they will make mistakes, but I am confident that they will come out OK, given time.

If I were diagnosed with a fatal illness tomorrow, I would of course be sad, but I believe I could accept it with a certain degree of equanimity.

Nope, I’m not afraid of death at all. Only of all the things I won’t get to see.

I am not afraid of death in the least. I am afraid of suffering or losing my mind and merely existing. I am afraid of my children being left without their mom if I were to die early.

But…death itself? No, I am not afraid of death or to die. I certainly hope it comes when I’m much, much, much older. :slight_smile:

I’m not afraid of death, in fact, I’m looking forward to it, but maybe thats just my manic depression talking. sigh

I’d welcome it, at this point.

I’m not afraid of death but I am afraid of dying. I don’t want my family and friends to be sad and to watch their sadness helplessly. I really don’t want to die young but I am very afraid of old age. I’m afraid of my loved ones leaving one by one and being left alone. I’m afraid of possible poverty or being incapacitated, disrespected, senile and unable to help/ stand up for myself and my rights. I’m afraid of being put in an old folk’s home where I could be treated badly. I’m afraid of euthanasia. I’m afraid of being resented as a burden or being pushed around.

But then again I’m also afraid of dying in an unforseen accident where I don’t get a chance to say goodbye to people or I leave a mess for other people to clean up after me. I hate the thought of loved ones having to go through my possessions (worthless as most of them are to anyone other than me) and all the work they’ll have…

Now I feel a little depressed. We really should be so much nicer and more respectful to old people because if all goes according to plan that’s where we’ll all be some day and it boggles my mind trying to imagine what it must be like to be ignored or patronised by adults who must seem like mere kids/ pipsqueaks/ little squirts…

Nope, not afraid. Death will come, but I hope it will be a very long time from now. I think it is prudent to plan life as if accidents may happen, but silly to be afraid of every possible hazzard.

Yes, scares the hell out of me. I consider myself to be the center of the universe. The world may keep spinning after I’m gone, but I see it as a matter of zero consequence to me what so ever. My world exists in my head. If I can’t see it, hear it, feel it, then it’s not really there. Practically speaking at least. If a tree falls in the forest etc… It sounds like a pretty self absorbed world-view, and I guess it is, but no other perspective ever made much sense to me. For that reason, death is the most horrible thing I can possibly think of. The only thing that really, really terrifies me.

Everything I’ve learned, accomplished, and experienced. Everyone I’ve known, loved or respected. All the material things I work so hard to afford. Everything. Gone. I do what I can to make life good and meaningful while it lasts, but deep down I don’t see the point, because I know in the end it will all be for nothing. It’s the most horrible thing in the world, and worst of of all; completely unescapable. I’m 23 years old and already counting the days.

Only afraid in the impact it would have on my family. I would prefer to live longer if only to make their lives easier, both emotionally and financially. Personally, there are many things that I still want to do so I would prefer not to go quite yet. But if I am called, so be it.

I am afraid of:

  1. Painful death. But that’s really pain I’m afraid of.

  2. Premature death. But it’s really missing out on stuff I’m afraid of. It occurs to me, further, that I’m unlikely to consider any death of mine “timely”. I am just the sort of chap who will always insist on having a little more.

I think the one thing that would really get me afraid of death itself is the prospect of nonexistence. One brief flash of personhood, conscience, sweetness, grief and lunacy… then less than nothing. Not even nothing. However it’s an irrational fear and is founded more on my fondness for intelligible experiences than on anything more real.

Olentzero, I know exactly how you feel. I have a measure of faith that my essence will survive physical death. Thing is, though, it’s not total and complete faith. There’s no utter and complete answer given, and even if there was, I’d always recognize that I could be wrong. The idea of non-existence terrifies me. No matter what proof I’ve felt or what I’ve believed, I recognize that I could be wrong, or delusional, or insane. In those moment of doubt…I’m frozen. I can feel death looming like a void in my stomach.

kinda spooky to see an Angel of the Lord talking to invisible posters in a thread about death…
op: don’t think so. pain yes.

I am really looking forward to my death. It will be an adventure! And I can move on to better things. This plane of existence really sucks big time.

The possibility that I will someday cease to exist, and that I will not even be aware of it; I simply won’t “be” anymore, terrifies me. And that is no exaggeration.

I just try not to think about it. Even posting this gives me the creeps.

Count me in as another with the fear of non-existence. If there is an afterlife, I don’t expect death to be so bad.