Why is Death so Scary?

My husband can’t wrap his mind around that. He doesn’t understand why I don’t like it when he wants to discuss death while I’m trying to get to sleep. If he brings it up at night, I can’t sleep because it gets stuck in my mind. I have this feeling that everything I see and touch is only a paper-thin painting covering an abyss, and any moment I could fall and become nothing. I can’t stand it. I’m in this beautiful world for a limited time only, and what am I doing with myself? I have no idea. I spend my time feeling lost and useless, or asleep. But I can’t give that as a reason for my husband, he would just ask me how come I don’t know what to do, why I don’t have any ambitions.

Death seems so lonely. I can’t say this to my husband, because he will expect me to be comforted by his presence. What he doesn’t understand is that his presence now does very little, when my mind is stuck on the final future of my life, either me without him or him without me. I can’t bear it. To go on, old and lonely, without my husband, would be worst, I think. Worse than going first to the grave. But it’s hard to be sure.

Why does he seem to enjoy bringing this up? He thinks he can make it all better by holding me. All I want is to distract myself and think of other things. He keeps pressing the issue, “why are you afraid? It happens to everyone.” How is that supposed to comfort me? I cry. He holds me, but I can’t help feeling that his life is as temporary as mine, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Death kept me awake as a child. I can’t remember how old I was, but I remember sobbing into my mother’s arms until she felt she had to lie to get me to calm down. “It’s ok. By the time you’re old enough to die, they will have figured out a way to stop it.”

I wonder how my husband is so ok with the prospect of dying. Is it because of his Faith? Or is he just that unshakable, that even the end can’t bother him? Is it because he’s making something of his life, instead of wasting his only time on earth being frightened and indecisive? What must it be like to have purpose? To want to work hard for something, even though, ultimately, death will still come and undo everything?

Death was the last thing we talked about when I went to sleep, and he brought it up again when I woke up. It was more bearable in the light of morning, easier to push out of my mind, even while he talked. But he kept asking me why I am so afraid, and that made it difficult to completely dissociate.

How do you deal with your own inevitable demise? Are you afraid? Why or why not?


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