Why are most of us scared of death, despite its inevitability for all?
A few years ago, a patient came into the Emergency Department with terrible burns, he was, unfortunately, still conscious and alert. He knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was going to die.
He was scared of death, he told us, not for himself but because he was scared of how his family would cope.
His feelings have been echoed by many of the patients we have seen over the years. They are, often, resigned to their own death, some of them welcome it, but those who have voiced concerns are always concerned about the impact on loved ones.
A friend and colleague who died after a, very brief, terminal illness was more concerned about his wife than himself.
So, perhaps, that is the answer - we are scared for those we leave behind.
I cannot remember a time when I was scared of death. Of dying, yes. Of being dead, no. My reluctance to die comes from not wanting to miss out on anything, not from fear. When I started flying airplanes off of ships I was aware that this was not a safe occupation. I have watched pilots die right in front of me. It's not a career you want to take up if you're scared of death. Now that I'm much closer to the end of my life than the beginning, my only fear is that I may hang on until I'm a burden to those who love me and would have to take care of me. I'd prefer a long life and a clean death while I'm stillfunctioning。
It's likely the irreversibility of death that frightens us. I suppose it's partly why so many of us believe in rebirth, heaven, immortality, and so forth, despite the compelling lack of evidence。
Actually, Tyrion said it better:“Death is so terribly final, while life is full of possibilities。”