Working in a hospital for 38 years brought me in contact with all sorts of dead and dying patients.
One was a 12 year old girl who had swallowed EVERY pill in her house - her grandmother's diabetic meds, heart meds, blood pressure meds, a whole bottle of aspirin. She died. How determined does one have to be to swallow over 300 pills? We never got to find out.
One doctor I knew was killed by a drunk driver in front of the hospital. He burned to death. We all loved him because he was bright and friendly and smart. Can't beat death though.
I have seen drug deaths, stabbings, shootings, car accidents, brains spilling out, guts hanging out, old people dying of pneumonia, heart attacks, strokes. You name it.
We are all bags of meat held together with skin. When your brain goes, that's the end.
If you get a chance to realize that you are about to die, you either accept it or fight it.
The ones that accept it seem to have the least pain and stress while they are physically dying. Some of them even smile or at least just relax into it and stop breathing.
The ones that fight death are miserable. They cry, scream, shake, physically fight their caregivers, and seem to die painfully, struggling to take that one last breath.
Both groups have made remarkable recoveries, only to die at a later time. So, I don't think we ever fully realize that we are dying. We just accept our limitations or not, at the time.
Sleep is called "the little death" and we are not afraid to go to sleep at bedtime, at least not usually. Some fear sleeping like a phobia.
Slipping into death is very much like slipping into sleep or a coma. It's the not waking up that determines if you are dead or not.
So, be grateful every day that you wake up. Every day is a gift. You can take your life and enjoy it, accept it, or be miserable and fight it.
It's all up to the individual.