The fear of Death

Posted by Pauldb

Firstly i want to say thank you for this opportunity, It feels strange yet exciting, being able to discuss death with others. 

I have always been scared of dying from an early age. In my primary school years I would wake up crying or was unable to sleep due to all the unanswered questions surrounding death. I would seek comfort from my mum and dad and ask them 'what happens when we die?' 

The answers were never conclusive and I would go back to bed comforted but still know deep down something was wrong. I asked my parents everything and they always had the answers.

I seemed to grow out of this phase, and life took over, i was always so busy and kept busy. It just stopped popping into my thoughts when i least expected it.

Around 6 years ago, I went through quite a major break up with my now ex girlfriend, we had a house together and all her family were my family, all my friends were her friends. I was uncle Paul to all her nephews and nieces. 

When we split up i moved away back to my home town and lost everything I had with her and her family. It was an amazing shock and I fell depressed and the thought of 'Death' and all my questions came back stronger than ever. I went to counseling about everything and death was heavily discussed, this seemed to ease things but it took a long time.

It's extremely hard to go a day without thinking about death, but i just can't help it. When I allow myself to think too deeply I feel panic and sick and breathless.

I'm not sure here is the right place to discuss the 'Fear' of death but this is such a huge part of my life now, I want to discuss it and find peace with my existence.

I now do not believe in an afterlife and this realisation, after believing in God for so long now, Is mind blowing. I can best compare it to a scene in a film - 'The Matrix', the part where Neo realises the world he has been living in isn't real and he realises for the first time what the world is really like - He is sick with immense shock.

I must apologize to anyone reading this that doesn't like my post for whatever reason.

I look forward to making contact and hearing suggestions as to how I can move forward... 


Thank you for reading

Paul x


I have struggled with being consumed by my fear of death at various times in my life. This began in childhood. I have experienced feelings of the world being unreal because of the realisation of death.

Posted by Exists

It seems obvious since we are already on this site, but have you attended a death cafe? Perhaps just being able to speak with other people about death and hear some of the many positive experiences around death will give you a different perspective to think about.

Posted by Amy

Thank you

Hi Paul,

Thanks for your post which I thought was powerfully honest and very courageous. I don't have any suggestions for you I'm afraid but I am similar to you in finding death scary.


Posted by Jon Underwood


For the first 300 years of Jewish Christianity, there was no fear of death. Roman centurians remarked how the Christians were oddly calm when executed... Jewish Christians deeply believed Christ's word that “God was love.” In all that time the faith had no judgment, Satan or hell...that was all pagan religion added in the 4th century when the Romans commandeered the faith and changed it to “Roman Christianity.” Learn to not fear death like original Jewish Christians... see

Posted by Brad O'Donnell

Death as a Loss

Hi Paul x,

It occurs that you fear death as a loss; particularly while being devoid of an afterlife. At least give yourself the presence of mind to have an afterglow to your life.

I would open up your fear of death to the awe of its mystery. What do we gain in dying which could give meaning to our life? How do we win even when we lose?

Check out my Blog posts at for additional insights.

Best wishes, Kevin

Posted by Kevin Haselhorst

Yes to death being scary. But like most scary things, it loses some of its power when moved out of the shadows into the light. At least once in a while. I remember as a kid being most frightened of what might be behind the closet door or under my bed at night. Once the lights were turned on, the terror dissipated. So I say, talk about death, your fears, etc. Explore it in various ways. Look at it. Visit a Death Cafe. See How to Die in Oregon. Expose it.
That's just been my experience in dealing with the fear so far.

Posted by amy2

When we die, we die, and that's it. We are born, live and die. Nothing else to it.

It's natural to feel scared and empty. And it''s okay. It's okay to be at ease too. It's all okay.

There is no meaning to life. And it's all okay..

When you accept it all, fear dissolves away and gentle peace will creep in.. Try saying it's okay to everything.

Posted by Nick

answer to Paul

Reading your post it seems you are still very depressed regarding the loss of your family and friends. I also got divorced although later in life so my children had already grown up. It takes several years to get over it, in my case mainly the loss of the house I had worked so hard and only myself had paid for. You have to get out of that state of depression by finding a life which means a girlfriend and start all over again, let go of the past. As you don`t mention children I assume you haven`t got any so it should be easier to get over that shock you had when you split up.

The fear you have of death could be softened if society were more progressive in its thinking. Why couldn`t I request an anaesthetist to put me to sleep for ever instead of temporary as when I had my operations?, the answer is to satisfy the religious and other beliefs of society, so if I am unlucky and have a horrible painful death is only to satisfy the thinking and beliefs of those who make the laws.

If you have a good death, ie without much pain or discomfort death by itself is not horrible at all, it is not much different from falling deeply asleep.

Posted by tahed

I think of death being identical to pre-birth - for millions of years we didn't exist, and we had no awareness of that. After life, it will be just the same and nothing to fear. The manner of dying is a concern, of course - that's rather different. But if we can at least live life to the full while we're able, when death comes we will have few regrets. I attended my first Death Cafe yesterday - it was brilliant and I'd highly recommend finding one to try. It really was thought provoking in a very positive way. Bon courage!

Posted by sue

I think of death being identical to pre-birth - for millions of years we didn't exist, and we had no awareness of that. After life, it will be just the same and nothing to fear. The manner of dying is a concern, of course - that's rather different. But if we can at least live life to the full while we're able, when death comes we will have few regrets. I attended my first Death Cafe yesterday - it was brilliant and I'd highly recommend finding one to try. It really was thought provoking in a very positive way. Bon courage!

Posted by sue

for me, doing anything new for the first time has an element of scariness in it. the first day at a new job can be scary because i don't know anyone yet and don't know what to expect. death is something nobody i know has had experience with and is able to come back and talk to me about it, so for me it's completely unknown. i've had new jobs before but never had my own death before (leaving beliefs about afterlife or reincarnation out of this) so it's a big unknown and has all kinds of questions and fears associated with that.

Posted by kellly

Fear of Death

There is no need to fear death, it is the path leading to it we should fear as it could be long, painful and miserable. I don`t remember anything before I was born and consider death like going back to that state.

Twice in my life I had to be put to sleep for operations and when I woke up I loved the feeling of being unconscious and unaware of my surroundings, in other words I was more or less dead during that time and I loved it when I woke up. Had I stayed in that state of unconsciousness for ever I would have never known I was dead.

There is a lot we can do to prepare ourselves for death. medically and psychologically. Once we are assured we will get pain relief a lot of fear will disappear. Psychologically we will have to start detaching ourselves from worldly goods and wealth as we`ll have to leave them behind. When you are dying one million pounds or whether your watch is made of tin or gold doesn`t seem so important any more. It is different considering the loved ones, it will always be painful to leave them behind, however if we do everything we can for their welfare before we die it is only with a painful love that we die.

Posted by tahed

Dear Paul,
Thank you for sharing. I would reiterate Amy's suggestion about attending a Death Cafe. When I went, there was a wide range of perspectives and ideas about death. I am fortunate in that I have never had any fear about death. When my 25 year old son died three years ago, that perspective did not change. I have always had a strong belief that birth and death are really two ways of looking at the same thing - a passage from one existence into another. If you are curious to read more about personal experiences my son has shared with me since his death, feel free to read my blog - see link on my website at My hope is that you might find comfort there ♥

Posted by Vera

Death, as we define it is simply ceasing to exist because we no longer breathe.
This does not mean that all the life processes within us cease.
We become dispersed into new realities and begin a new journey of consciousness.

Posted by John Bird

Paul X
Jon Underwood
Kevin Haselhorst
Amy 2
Tamed Kelly
John Bird

In reading PaulB's "The fear of Death" as well as the many replies I recognized that many are opinionated and feel the need to firmly express their view as fact. It seems people think it is death, fear of death or the question of death & what happens upon death that consumes them to the point of anguish. I would say anguish evolves from feeding your fears to the point of accomplishing complete mental & physical anguish.
Dying is only a representation of what happens to your physical body when your internal organs stop working.
For some, the end of your physical existence is actually the beginning...
"Friends do not be Afraid". I have crossed over & returned. Accept my words. Enjoy internal peace, love and contentment in your daily life now.

Posted by ReadyAlready

Great Post

I think of death being identical to pre-birth, this line hit me hard. A very interesting way of seeing the life cycle. Here's another great video I hope you'll take a look at that deals with how to overcome the fear of dying: Much Love!

Posted by Dennis Simsek

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