Do you fear death?
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03-01-2015, 08:47 AM
RE: Do you fear death?
Eternal life sounds like torture to me too. It's the most immense risk you could take. No thanks, once around the block is enough for me.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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03-01-2015, 09:03 AM
RE: Do you fear death?
When we say "I will die"....

Who is "I"?

Is "I" your body?

Your brain?

The data in your brain?

Something else?

If we define "me" as the actual stuff of our physical existence, then perhaps we die about every 7 years, because science tells us all the cells in our body are replaced over that period. Are we the cells?

But wait, the cells may dissolve and be replaced by new cells, but the atoms the cells are made of aren't dissolved, but merely relocated. Are we the atoms?
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03-01-2015, 09:12 AM
RE: Do you fear death?
Ah, we're talkin "Soul" now, yes?

Check it:




"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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03-01-2015, 09:55 AM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2015 02:42 PM by dancefortwo.)
RE: Do you fear death?
(02-01-2015 10:40 AM)Dom Wrote:  
(02-01-2015 10:22 AM)LadyWallFlower Wrote:  I understand that. I think it would be hard for me to not be emotional about that though. My husband says he would rather die than risk brain damage, suffer, or be dependent on me or anyone else. I totally understand and agree. However, I feel like if I let him die, I'd always wonder "what if..." What if he would've made a good recovery? I know that's selfish, but I've grieved for someone close to me and I've been through the "what if" stage. It's awful.

Dealing with someone else's death is a whole different ball game. It is not the same as dealing with your own death.

I have been in the situation you describe three times. First, a dear friend who appointed me to be the one to pull the plug for him. Thankfully, he was very clear about what he wanted and when, and the situation was very clear. I was in my early 30s then, and it did rock my world, but I was sure about having done the right thing - the thing HE wanted.

Second was my mom - I was a decade older and - hell - she was my mom! It was very traumatic because the hospital would not honor her wish to stop treatment. For some convoluted legal reasons she had to appoint me as guardian and have me state this as her wish. Again - a shock in my life, but, again,... I knew I had done the right thing. How could I possibly force my own mom to suffer against her will?

The third was my husband of 30 years - hardest thing I ever did. He had fought cancer and won - just to have a different type of cancer a bit later. He did insist on checking into the local hospital to have all conceivable tests done. The results were such that he decided to forgo treatment. The fight now was to get him out of the damn hospital and home where he could die in peace, without strangers poking at him at all hours. He wanted to be home, in his own bed, with me and his dog and no one else. After getting the run-around for days, he finally raised such a loud ruckus that they thought it better to let him go. And I won't get into details, it's a long story, but he did end up having a very peaceful death here, at home, in his bed, just like he wanted.

Other people's death is not about you. Yes, you are the one left behind and grieving. But, to me, making a loved one suffer against their will is a horrible thing to do. Especially if it's going to be the last of life they can taste.


Your story reminds me of my fathers death. Death does funny things to the living.

My father always hated cities and spent most of his life in small towns or very rural, mountainous areas. He wanted to stay in his home even if his home was rather, shall we say, messy and disorganized. My super organized and hyper- clean, Christian sister thought he should go to a senior home where it was all nice and sterile. But I knew my father would hate a place like that. He wanted to be in his own home, surrounded by his clutter and his beloved cat.

So for several years there was a bit of an underlying tug of war between my sister and me. My husband and I would go see him frequently ( my dad lived two hours away but had daily drop in help for anything he needed) and when my father died in his sleep in a messy house my sister was horrified . She blamed us for him dying in an unorganized environment because I guess she felt that dying peacefully in messy house was somehow not a good way to die.

The funny thing is that my Christian sister, in the 15 years that my father lived in his house, went to see him a total of five, maybe six times and when he died my husband went to take care of things (I had the flu) my sister discovered this and phoned the police to have my husband arrested for trespassing on my fathers property. What a piece of work she is.

My father died 7 years ago and she hasn't spoken to me since.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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03-01-2015, 10:34 AM
RE: Do you fear death?
I've found three thoughts thus far that help me to embrace the idea of my death.

1. Ultimate selfless gift. Suppose you were on a sinking ship, and saving you meant that young children would die. Would you give your life so that they might have the opportunity to experience things you've already enjoyed?

We know that nature had designed the lifespan of species to insure their survival. Through the development of medicines and technology, mankind alone has been able to extend its original lifespan dramatically, well past the point at which life may be enjoyed to its fullest. But there are limits to the planet's ability to sustain the demands placed on it. My death allows others of my species to be born and experience the prime of life. Though imposed by nature, what a glorious gift to offer, and I would give it freely knowing it gave birth and survival to future generations.

2. Ultimate peace. Life is struggle. Even our sleep is disturbed by the ceaseless worries of our minds. My hope is that when my mind and body are worn out by life's troubles, I'll gladly accept the tranquility only offered by death. See Joan Baez below, beautiful.

3. Ultimate expressions. The depth of emotions surrounding death, for the dying and the bereaved, are like no other. Death provides us all with the opportunity to experience utmost emotions of love, devotion, sacrifice, anguish, grief, fear, loss, etc. These give beauty and meaning to life, and without death their extent would never be known. It would be like only ever having seen the bright light of day, without the sunset. Better to know these and die, than to live forever in their absence. Our deaths provide this wondrous gift to the world.



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03-01-2015, 10:52 AM
RE: Do you fear death?
My father died of a brain tumor when I was five years old. His death provided a richness to my life, and a capacity for empathy, that I'd have never known without it. Thanks Daddy, oh how I miss you. Tears.
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03-01-2015, 10:58 AM
RE: Do you fear death?
(03-01-2015 09:55 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  
(02-01-2015 10:40 AM)Dom Wrote:  Dealing with someone else's death is a whole different ball game. It is not the same as dealing with your own death.

I have been in the situation you describe three times. First, a dear friend who appointed me to be the one to pull the plug for him. Thankfully, he was very clear about what he wanted and when, and the situation was very clear. I was in my early 30s then, and it did rock my world, but I was sure about having done the right thing - the thing HE wanted.

Second was my mom - I was a decade older and - hell - she was my mom! It was very traumatic because the hospital would not honor her wish to stop treatment. For some convoluted legal reasons she had to appoint me as guardian and have me state this as her wish. Again - a shock in my life, but, again,... I knew I had done the right thing. How could I possibly force my own mom to suffer against her will?

The third was my husband of 30 years - hardest thing I ever did. He had fought cancer and won - just to have a different type of cancer a bit later. He did insist on checking into the local hospital to have all conceivable tests done. The results were such that he decided to forgo treatment. The fight now was to get him out of the damn hospital and home where he could die in peace, without strangers poking at him at all hours. He wanted to be home, in his own bed, with me and his dog and no one else. After getting the run-around for days, he finally raised such a loud ruckus that they thought it better to let him go. And I won't get into details, it's a long story, but he did end up having a very peaceful death here, at home, in his bed, just like he wanted.

Other people's death is not about you. Yes, you are the one left behind and grieving. But, to me, making a loved one suffer against their will is a horrible thing to do. Especially if it's going to be the last of life they can taste.


Your story reminds me of my fathers death. Death does funny things to the living.

My father always hated cities and spent most of his life in small towns or very rural, mountainous areas. He wanted to stay in his home even if his home was rather, shall we say, messy and disorganized. My super organized and hyper- clean, Christian sister thought he should go to a senior home where it was all nice and sterile. But I knew my father would hate a place like that. He wanted to be in his own home, surrounded by his clutter and his beloved cat.

So for several years there was a bit of an underlying tug of war between my sister and me. My husband and I would go see him frequently ( my dad lived two hours away but had daily drop in help for anything he needed) and when my father died in his sleep in a messy house my sister wasn't horrified . She blamed us for him dying in an unorganized environment because I guess she felt that dying peacefully in messy house was somehow not a good way to die.

The funny thing is that my Christian sister, in the 15 years that my father lived in his house, went to see him a total of five, maybe six times and when he died my husband went to take care of things (I had the flu) my sister discovered this and phoned the police to have my husband arrested for trespassing on my fathers property. What a piece of work she is.

My father died 7 years ago and she hasn't spoken to me since.

Wow. I've got a similar story with another dimension.

My mother had, unbeknownst to us, been harbouring stomach cancer. Having just come back from living in the US, I suddenly found myself thrust into the role of carer, which I took without question.

What I then learnt was that during my time away, my brother (who I strongly suspect, though I can't state with certainty, is very much out there on the Anti-Social Behaviour Disorder spectrum) had been "caring" for her. This seemed to consist manily of taking over her bank accounts (she'd been in a daze after Dad died, after 48 years of marriage) and using it to travel the world and affect the lifestyle of a playboy, periodically turning up to mentally abuse her (he controlled her through her love for him). On one occasion after my father's death, he even frog-marched her into a solicitor to sign "some documents", which later turned out to be a new will leaving everything to him. I got a call from her asking for help when she realised what was going on and I flew in from the US to help her undo this with the help of a law firm not connected with anyone in the family (they were great, kicking me out of the room after the introductions were made, exactly as they should).

She eventually "evicted" him with help from members of her church (she was a JW), but now she was ill, she gave me enduring power of attorney, informed e I was the executor of her will and gave me some very clear directives.

One was not, under any circumstances, to inform my brother, except in the case of her actual death. She dreaded him coming back to "take control" of the situation.

The other was to honour her wishes for treatment as a JW. Of course, she knew I was an atheist and was aware of the impact this would have on me, but after previous events, she said I was the only one she could trust.

I knew what would come. Between my wife and I we made her as comfortable as possible and when the time came, took her into hospital, visiting everyday. The doctors said the only way they could treat her was with the benefit of blood transfusions that she would not accept. Later, as her condition worsened, she went into the hospice. I was with her at her passing.

The pyschological assault that started after I was free to inform my brother of her passing was a new low for both him and for me. As her law firm were the contingent executors, I resigned as executor and passed duties to them, if only to prevent tortious litigation from my brother.

So yes, I think I had more than my fair share of adversity to face. And yet, to this day, I feel relieved and even proud that I stood up for her right to live and die as she chose and that as she passed, I could look her in the eye and tell her that her wishes would be honoured, regardless of the costs on me.

Yes, these events have a funny effect on the living, but my two cents is that if you love someone and truly respect their wishes, these inevitable events in life are yet another rite of passage not to be shirked or otherwise avoided.

"I don't mind being wrong...it's a time I get to learn something new..."
Me.
N.B: I routinely make edits to posts to correct grammar or spelling, or to restate a point more clearly. I only notify edits if they materially change meaning.
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03-01-2015, 11:18 AM
RE: Do you fear death?
I started to "like" some of these posts, and then I unlike them, because it feels morbid to like it. But wow, the stories.

My parents raised me and my sisters with the idea that our lives were SO much harder than most peoples. Now that I'm an adult I know that's not true, but these stories confirm that everyone sees hard times at some point in our lives. These posts inspire me to live life with both strength and lightheartedness. Loss and suffering is hard, but that only makes us realize the sweet parts of life.

"Most people are other people.
Their thoughts are someone else's opinions,
their lives a mimicry,
their passions a quotation."
-Oscar Wilde
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03-01-2015, 11:31 AM
RE: Do you fear death?
(01-01-2015 11:24 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  I guess to me, what you're talking about is "after death". The actual dying is the scary part. I agree it's a progression. I think that for me the "loss" was something I let go of ages ago. The fear came with the realization that those fleeting moments where you are going through the act of dying (fuck that sounds dumb, you get it) are probably going to be horrible, and very likely feel like a very long time.

Ya man. I'm with you. Had to talk it out, but I think we're sayin the same thing. Fuck all the possessions and shit. After your gone it will be just like remembering before you were born. Just get me there quick!

I have often had the thought that death and birth must be somewhat similar - both events share a traumatic shock to the physical & psychological systems. One quickly goes from a place of comfort and contentment to a scary, cold, painful place where nothing works the way it used to.

What a fucking drag - I didn't ask for this! Angry

As one gets to a certain age ... when death seems closer than the previous years ... the feelings of fear about the actual event sort of degrade into mild apprehension. I try to remain positive about it and keep open to questions about where my consciousness will stream off to. How ever it may happen, I'm somewhat determined to step forward into the unknown, feet first... thats pretty much how I entered this reality.

I was a breech birth. Shy

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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03-01-2015, 02:45 PM
RE: Do you fear death?
(03-01-2015 10:58 AM)gofish! Wrote:  
(03-01-2015 09:55 AM)dancefortwo Wrote:  Your story reminds me of my fathers death. Death does funny things to the living.

My father always hated cities and spent most of his life in small towns or very rural, mountainous areas. He wanted to stay in his home even if his home was rather, shall we say, messy and disorganized. My super organized and hyper- clean, Christian sister thought he should go to a senior home where it was all nice and sterile. But I knew my father would hate a place like that. He wanted to be in his own home, surrounded by his clutter and his beloved cat.

So for several years there was a bit of an underlying tug of war between my sister and me. My husband and I would go see him frequently ( my dad lived two hours away but had daily drop in help for anything he needed) and when my father died in his sleep in a messy house my sister wasn't horrified . She blamed us for him dying in an unorganized environment because I guess she felt that dying peacefully in messy house was somehow not a good way to die.

The funny thing is that my Christian sister, in the 15 years that my father lived in his house, went to see him a total of five, maybe six times and when he died my husband went to take care of things (I had the flu) my sister discovered this and phoned the police to have my husband arrested for trespassing on my fathers property. What a piece of work she is.

My father died 7 years ago and she hasn't spoken to me since.

Wow. I've got a similar story with another dimension.

My mother had, unbeknownst to us, been harbouring stomach cancer. Having just come back from living in the US, I suddenly found myself thrust into the role of carer, which I took without question.

What I then learnt was that during my time away, my brother (who I strongly suspect, though I can't state with certainty, is very much out there on the Anti-Social Behaviour Disorder spectrum) had been "caring" for her. This seemed to consist manily of taking over her bank accounts (she'd been in a daze after Dad died, after 48 years of marriage) and using it to travel the world and affect the lifestyle of a playboy, periodically turning up to mentally abuse her (he controlled her through her love for him). On one occasion after my father's death, he even frog-marched her into a solicitor to sign "some documents", which later turned out to be a new will leaving everything to him. I got a call from her asking for help when she realised what was going on and I flew in from the US to help her undo this with the help of a law firm not connected with anyone in the family (they were great, kicking me out of the room after the introductions were made, exactly as they should).

She eventually "evicted" him with help from members of her church (she was a JW), but now she was ill, she gave me enduring power of attorney, informed e I was the executor of her will and gave me some very clear directives.

One was not, under any circumstances, to inform my brother, except in the case of her actual death. She dreaded him coming back to "take control" of the situation.

The other was to honour her wishes for treatment as a JW. Of course, she knew I was an atheist and was aware of the impact this would have on me, but after previous events, she said I was the only one she could trust.

I knew what would come. Between my wife and I we made her as comfortable as possible and when the time came, took her into hospital, visiting everyday. The doctors said the only way they could treat her was with the benefit of blood transfusions that she would not accept. Later, as her condition worsened, she went into the hospice. I was with her at her passing.

The pyschological assault that started after I was free to inform my brother of her passing was a new low for both him and for me. As her law firm were the contingent executors, I resigned as executor and passed duties to them, if only to prevent tortious litigation from my brother.

So yes, I think I had more than my fair share of adversity to face. And yet, to this day, I feel relieved and even proud that I stood up for her right to live and die as she chose and that as she passed, I could look her in the eye and tell her that her wishes would be honoured, regardless of the costs on me.

Yes, these events have a funny effect on the living, but my two cents is that if you love someone and truly respect their wishes, these inevitable events in life are yet another rite of passage not to be shirked or otherwise avoided.

There should be a thread dedicated to wills and family squabbles. Weddings and funerals bring out the worst in people, especially when money is involved.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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