SenorBuns asked people of Reddit: Why aren't you afraid of death?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
I'm a nurse and death really isn't the worst that can happen; living daily with pain and humiliation or psychosis is a lot more scary to me.
Seconding this. As a nurse I am less afraid of dying than I am of living out countless days without being able to express my basic needs and emotions.
9. Checkmate, death.
What's it going to do to me? Kill me?
It can only kill you once.
Comments like these is why I love Reddit.
8. What's there to dislike?
Billions of people have done it before me. I don't hear them complaining.
Damn why is this comforting in a weird way?
That's how I get through anything that I'm nervous about. I just think to myself, "Millions of people have done this before me, so I can definitely do it too."
7. Why fear certainty?
Death is inevitable, whether I worry or not it's not going to change the conclusion.
To quote the trailer from Catch 22: "Me? Happy, happy, happy, dead. You? Worry, worry, worry, dead. See the difference?"
6. Well, yeah, because dying can suck.
Death seems peaceful for me. I don't think people are afraid of death, they're afraid of dying.
I think most are afraid of the unknown, which death is. Kind of like how people are afraid of the dark, You can be in a completely safe environment with nobody around to harm you, but the thought of something being in the room and you not being able to see it still is scary.
That's me in a nutshell. Death itself, depending on your particular beliefs has just a few outcomes: Nothing and you become worm food, Heaven, Purgatory or you take the elevator below street level.
Dying is a different matter. I hope it will be quick, give me electrocution or hit me with a bus. I'm old enough that I sadly watch many of my friends and family slowly lose their faculties or be ridden with slow illnesses like cancer or neurological disorders like Parkinson's. I'd prefer to go out of this world quickly and not be a burden on anyone.
It occurred to me several years ago, that unless you have a terminal disease, or in some situation where death is pretty regular, like a war zone, that death comes as a sudden surprise to most people. And that's sort of unnerving.
I'm not looking forward to dying, but I know it'll happen sooner or later. But I am concerned about the manner of my death. Fire or drowning? No thank you. Torture? Please no. Long fall? Rather not. But hey, we don't all get to choose how it happens.
5. Worry about life.
I'm not depressed, at all. And not religious. But life is so complicated and it's so much work to maintain everything that's going on.
I look forward to some day, hopefully in the far far future, turning the sound off, closing my eyes, falling asleep and not waking up.
I also feel like this and am curious if a lot of other people feel this too. Seems like a rare feeling to have.
4. Had a taste, and it ain't bad.
I was stupid in my younger days and smoked spice (synthetic weed). It threw me into a seizure and I was bordering cardiac arrest. Because my heart was beating so fast I couldn't take in oxygen and I started to feel myself slip away. When I thought I was going to die I had an overwhelming feeling of peace and I let go. Because of how peaceful it was when I did let go I am not afraid to die when my time comes. It really changed me life on that day.
What did you see, what did you feel?
I didn't see anything, it was just dark. Almost like right before you fall asleep. However when I thought to myself that this was it and let go, a neutral voice came into my head. It was not mine nor did it sound like a man or woman. It said, "you're not going to die, you need to breath." Literally after it finished the word breath, I took in oxygen even with my heart beating out of my chest. That is the part that changed my life.
3. Make the most of it.
Because I've lived.
This is why I'm afraid of dying. Not because how will it be, will it hurt or what happens or doesn't happens after. It's because I'm 22 and I know life have to offer me so many more beautiful experiences.
This is the only real response.
2. Talk about extra credit...
Everyone dies; it's inevitable. I'd just prefer that it doesn't hurt, or cause undue grief for my loved ones. I've already lived to a more advanced age than both of my grandfathers, my father and all but one of his five siblings, so it's all overtime, now. I beat esophageal cancer 12 years ago, and am in pretty good health for 75.
Enjoy your bonus years, here's to many more.
Thank you! I am enjoying them immensely.
1. Heeere we go.
Honestly it's because of psychedelics. They taught me to let go of my attachment to myself. Death is inevitable and if you spend your whole life fearing it, then you won't really be living. If you can live in the present moment then the idea of impending death has no real power over you. We have to enjoy what we have, while we have it, without being attached.
Psychedelics can expand one's awareness. They can be a very eye-opening spiritual experience for people. My dad was hippie and did a fair share of them back in the day (mostly shrooms). Years later, he had an accident out at sea, flatlined and was declared dead (he came back and is alive). He claimed that when he was declared "dead," there was no struggle detaching from his body or life itself. There was no pain, but the most peaceful, beautiful, euphoric bliss he has experienced in his entire life.
I experienced a total ego death on LSD a year and a half ago. I lost entirely my subjective sense of self, and in a single moment experienced the entire range of human emotion, and looked on the human condition from an eagle's eye. I saw the universe and all of the tiny places I fit into it, I felt the vibration of every individual micro string in which everything is made up of. I saw that the universe operates completely and exclusively in circles (even time), and that our reality only exists because we believe that it does.
I saw matter untangle into energy. Divine truth unraveled before me and within me. And it was so radically peaceful and true, that I knew this state is where I would return when it is time for my spirit to leave this body. And in that, I found definitive acceptance and understanding of death. Once my time here is over, I look forward to returning to that place of inexplicable solace.
Teachers have a hard job and empathy can make all the difference, as we learned when Redditor 2minutestosundown asked the online community: High School teachers of Reddit, what is the one thing that you want your students to know that you'd never tell them in person?