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Accepting Death

Updated on October 2, 2016

I find a lot of people are scared of dying. This is a perfectly natural response to it, however, I find most people are scared for selfish reasons, with myself being included. To be scared of something (anything, not limited to just dying) is something we all face. Usually, this results in one of two outcomes: flight or fight.

Flight: When something scares you, do you run away or hide? Ignore it which frightens you? If so, then you are probably familiar with this response to a scary situation.

Fight: Do you stand your ground? Do you go forth and meet that which scares you in battle? Then you are familiar with the concept of fight.

Now, both of these responses are natural and you do not always respond the same way in every situation. If you do then you are either a coward or hard-headed, both of which are terrible ways of being. No, even the seemingly biggest coward fights his own battles, rather that be going outside or talking to people if you are anti-social. In essence, no one is on one of the two extremes. Most people are in the middle and have trained themselves to be in the middle. They know which battles they feel the can fight and which they can run from. And this is the best way to be. However, what happens when it comes to dying?

Neither one of these responses work for the dying. Let me now preference this, when I say dying I do not mean the person who is fighting for their life due to a disease or a person literally fighting in a war. No, I mean the person who, after everything has failed and it is this person time, is literally dying. What response can a person invoke then? Fight or flight is useless as the same outcome is coming for you regardless of which you choose. The most common response this person has is fear. Fear of the unknown. No matter how much of a brave face someone puts on they will be scared.

What Do You Think!?

Do you agree that most people are in the middle when it come to Flight or Fight?

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Here I want to explain the point I made earlier. Everyone is scared of dying for completely selfish reasons. Most will explain they do not want to go because they are not ready or they do not want to leave a burden for those left behind. However, one reason most will not say is because they do not want to leave this place. They do not want the world to keep on turning without them. Knowing such things really makes one feel insignificant. Here, one may rely on their religion. Belief in the afterlife is a saving grace for a lot of people. Some think that when we die then it is over and there is no afterlife. Regardless your view on the matter, you are still being selfish for not wanting to die.

It is here that I bring good news (of sorts). For those that cannot imagine a world without them in it, just remember you don't have to die have that become a possibility. For instance, if I were to suffer from retrograde amnesia then I, for argument sake here, never existed or had a life in this world that I could relay (save for friends and family telling me). I would have no past experiences. I would have no joy or pain to recall. I would have no identity. This is the selfishness I am trying to explain. It isn't something brought about by violence, disease or anything else. It is personal experience that only YOU can experience. To lose your identity is a scary thing and wanting to hold on to it is definitely understandable.

Unfortunately, I have no answers in the article. My goal was only to help those that need it to realize exactly why they maybe so afraid of their own mortality. Religion helps a lot of people with accepting their mortality. Some do not need it and look at it from a humanist position. Either way, death is something that doesn't require acceptance of. I, for one, am selfish and do not think death is something anyone can ever fully accept but only learn to live with the knowledge of knowing it. When we get to the end and if we have time to know it before hand, then I think some can accept it fully and may lose the initial selfness.


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