I'm Afraid and Terrified of Death and Funerals
Is this fear all in my mind?
First of all, let me say that I am somewhat terrified of death and going to funerals. The very thought of having to attend the funeral of a friend or a loved one makes me shudder with fear. The way the person looks in the casket scares me!!!! I attended my first funeral service in January, 1977 for my grandfather. The setting was somber and eerie at the same time. I remember the family having to get in line to view my grandfather's remains; as I got closer, my heart began to pound extremely fast and my hands became cold. My sister yelled at me because I squeezed her hand so hard that I accidentally hurt her hand.
It seemed as if this funeral lasted forever, but it was only a two hour service. After the service was over with, we all went over to my grandmother's house. I could not sleep. I thought I heard someone calling my name. I was too scared to get out of bed. The next morning, we went to the cemetery for the burial. Unfortunately, we could not have the burial service because the ground was too cold.
Fast forward three years later in 1980, my grandmother passed. That same fear gripped my heart and spirit again. It took me some time to get over losing her. In 1983, I lost my stepdad. I watched my mother mourn the loss of her husband. During the weeks following his funeral, the funeral director brought my stepdad's ashes to our home, I placed the container on the dining room bar. Later on that evening, I went upstairs to draw some bathwater. As I walked past my mom & stepdad's bedroom, I saw this bright light shining like the sun coming out of their room. I ran into the bathroom and I almost jumped into a hot tub of water. I told my mom about my experience; she just laughed and said it was my stepdad paying me a visit and that I should not be afraid. Losing him took a toll on our entire family. I found myself having dreams about my stepfather coming down from heaven and telling us to take care of our mother as best as we could and then he would disappear. I would wake up in tears!!!!!!
Down through the years, I had many other losses in my family. I lost my first husband and my mom in 2006. When I lost my mother, I had a really bad dream and I woke up again screaming and crying. While looking through some of my husband's old things, the stereo was clicking on and off. I had to hurry and put his things away. I'm beginning to wonder, is something wrong with me? Is my mind playing tricks on me?
My mother would often remind me that I should not be afraid of the dead. I would say to her that I can't get used to seeing my loved one laying in their casket. She would tell me that I should be scared of the living, because they are the ones that will hurt you. Today, I still hear my mom's voice as she would remind me of all of life's lessons. I'm not as scared of death and funerals as I used to be. I look at it as a celebration of that person's life.
Now I embrace each day as it comes. I know that God has a plan for each one of us. I cherish every moment with my loved ones as much as I can, because I never know when that time will come.