What did you think about when you thought you were going to die?
I'm sure there are many of us who have felt sure we were at the end of our lives for some reason or another. I'm not concerned with why you felt this way, just what you were thinking.
I think it always boils down to fear no matter how distant or improbable it seems. Anything can provoke it - a wrong diagnosis or a near accident... Gets even scarier after the fact.
I used to be simply afraid. Afraid of dying, afraid of a painful death, uncomfortable what I would leave behind (I try to remind myself to have everything in order not to leave a mess that someone has to go through)...
from all-encompassing thoughts to very mundane.
I was so sad that no one would come to my funeral. What would it matter to me then?
The best remediation I found was when I listened (not practiced yet) the course on Mindfulness.
Mindfulness has special meditation on death (just look it up on google). It feels scary and sad at first and I cried (being sorry for myself), but then I realized that it is probably the most useful thing I have ever heard about death and dying.
We are totally separated from the aging process and death in our society. It never occurs too close.
Even if people tell you they are not afraid, I doubt it is true. It is more of a pose when they are sure it is not happening to them, not right now.
There was a special exhibition in Montreal (last year), people with terminal illnesses were photographed (close-ups, no photo shop, no beautifying) and their stories were included...
it is not a pretty business. People are either angry or afraid or both.
http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/What-T … fore-death
I hope this helps in terms of knowing how other people feel. I think we feel the same when it is real.
The first thing I thought about when I thought I was going to die the first time, was that I wanted to live long enough to see my children grow up. This was 23 years ago. My wish came true and I've seen them grow up into three fine men. I was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer just over a month ago and now I'm thinking I was fortunate to have had the last 23 years.
I was gravely ill in the hospital with a serious bone infection. I thought I was going to die and was surprised by my thoughts. I prayed, Lord, I never thought I would go this way, but if you are calling me home, I'm ready.
The only reason I'm answering this is in case anyone who has ever lost someone to a fatal accident reads it. I've often heard people who have lost someone that way say that they wonder what the person was thinking about right before.
I was in an accident in which my friend was killed and I truly thought there was no way anyone could possibly survive what was clearly about to happen. We were in a tiny car, a convertible, and there was a high-speed, out-of-control, set of headlights coming right at us. I calmly said to the driver with disgust and contempt, "He's going to hit us." I didn't say it, but I thought there was no way on Earth anyone in our car would survive. I didn't have a lot of time to think, but I was surprised at how calm and resigned and disgusted at the other car I felt. I was twenty years old, and my thoughts went immediately to my two parents, whom I imagined must be sitting in their kitchen and having their night-time coffee and crackers.
I thought, "I hope they know that I'm OK with this." That's not saying that I was OK believing I was about to be killed, but I was calm and resigned and not all that upset. I was angry. Ridiculous as it may seem that I actually seriously thought this, I hoped they wouldn't feel too bad about it. I don't recall if I only "thought it" or if I "prayed it". It's what was on my mind, though. Also on my mind was the thought that this wasn't one that was going to be avoided.
My own calm words are clear in my head today, and nobody else in the car said anything. There was no drama and no screaming, calling out prayers, or horror as some people may imagine there would be. I don't know what my twenty-year-old friend was thinking, but she looked like she was calmly "addressing" the situation. I suppose it's because adrenaline makes people react with calmness.
I didn't feel the actual moment that "the headllights" hit us or if I did I don't recall it because of a head injury. I temporarily regained consciousness when the emergency people were already there, and I had trouble figuring out what he was saying about how we "had just been hit down the road". I felt like I was being awakened from a routine sleep and didn't want to be. In other words, immediately after being hit it was like I'd lost memory of what had happened. As I gradually became more awake I recalled most of it.
A real case of "not knowing what hit us".
I do not fear death, I have come to terms with the cycle of life.
But when I had a close experience once I asked myself if it really was my time to fulfil my obligation the cycle of life.
Fortunately it wasn't.
I was in the hospital paralyzed. My head felt like a bomb had exploded in it. I just wanted the pain to go away. It was a very humbling experience. My first thought was, if I can just scoot around, I can get out of the hospital and not have to go in to a nursing home so I can be with my children. My second thought was, I'll never take walking for granted again. Before all the tests were back, and I thought there was a possibility I was dying, I thought about my children. My child with special needs was a huge concern for me because it's hard enough in this life, without his mom, his life would be even more difficult.
With all honor to many answers mine may seem a little different. The experience of thinking I am going to die is simple and an everyday possibility. Overcoming that fear is sometimes trying. Simply the action of blood glucose dropping low and fast. That feeling can be overwhelming and panic may ensue.
The personal experience with unconsciousness and the affect of the side effects fuels that fear. Plus, who really knows what to do if this occurred and I was lying on the ground. Thus, the haste to leave a conversation or setting seeking out stashed glucose tabs when the body aches with tremors and screams "watch out!" within moments at times gives cause to judgments.
My thoughts are singular with those experiences - "Do not loose consciousness!" The fear is at times accelerated to the extent falling to sleep is scary. Thus, long nights followed by plummeting to sleep, awakening later, and then the question becomes "What happen?" followed by disorientation. I then am very thankful for a cup'pa coffee or Greek tea.
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