Death – How do you respond to it?
Death is a fantastically interesting topic for plenty of reasons; philosophical, metaphysical, or spiritual, it has a place for us all.
How do you deal with the topic when it relates to someone besides yourself? I recently had a family member pass away, and I feel I know where I stand on it, but watching my other family members has me interested in how this community sees death and how you folks have responded to it when it has hit close to your sphere of existence. All thoughts and experiences welcome.
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I’ve always been really interested in the way that people process death. I recently started doing some grief counseling and it is fascinating to me the way people perceive and react to what can seem like the only true finality.
But I see it as just another element of inevitable change in our lives. I think it’s kind of beautiful that our times are limited. Of course I’ve mourned losses, and will again, but I’m thankful for death as much as life.
@emily, I know that feeling. I’ve lost a few friends and even though I’m sad that they’re gone, I’m also jealous because of the fact that that little fucker now knows what happens when you die. I wish he’d come to me in a dream and tell me lol. Does it ever bug you to the point where the idea of jumping off a ledge to find out comes to mind? It has for me lol
@mghensley, incoming materialists. I love your point of view though. Our bodies for sure die off and get recycled by nature, but a lot of people out there have had experiences which make them believe consciousness does not die.
Let me quote myself from a topic I made some time ago:
Life is very precious and relatively short. Death does not wait and is peeking at us around every corner. We all faced death one way or the other, whether it was one of our relatives, our friends, or somebody else in our direct environment. However, death is also the thing that makes life beautiful, that makes us appreciate life, because how could we appreciate life if there would be no death, if we would live eternally?
With this post I just want to share this awareness and tell you that it is not worth it feeling resentment or vengeance towards somebody. It is not worth it feeling (stuck) anger and hatred. It is not worth it to feel envy/jealousy, fear and worry. On each and every moment you are the one to decide what you feel, you and only you. Do you choose happiness or do you choose unhappiness? It is a choice you can make at any given moment, no matter the circumstances, no matter the environment, no matter the situation. Those are only events, things that just happen as they happen. There is no universal law telling you how to react to those events, what kind of emotions you should feel. You are the one choosing how to respond, no matter how ‘difficult’ a situation can look. We all are in search for happiness. A lot of us do this by chasing external things like money, power, sex, drugs and other satisfactions. Time after time you find out that the moment you get what you thought you wanted, there will be something else that you will crave for. Time after time you recognize that those satisfactions are only temporary satisfactions. Time after time you find out that that, which you crave for, always lies in the future. How is this possible? How is it possible that we always are only craving for things in the future? Things that still have to happen? What we will eat tonight, what we have to do for work tomorrow, the holiday next year, the new car we want to buy, the promotion we might get next week, etc. etc. How is it possible that we are unable to experience happiness in the only moment that exists, which is NOW? There is no future, there is no past, those are only memories and or riots of thoughts. Day in day out we walk around immersed in riots of fragmentary and discordant thoughts. Why? I am not saying we should not have any goals in life, we should not make any plans and/or we should not be ambitious. The important thing is to be happy NOW. You are born naked and you die naked. No material things you have the moment you are born and no material things you take with you the moment you die. Then why is it, that we crave for so many other things in the short period between those moments? Why is it we cannot be happy just the way we are? Just simply being? When you discover that you can be happy with everything and with nothing, everywhere and no where, on every single moment in your life, then you will discover that you can always be happy, no matter what. You are the one making that choice, time after time. No matter the circumstances, you always have the choice how you deal with it. Will you choose to be happy or unhappy? What will it change to choose unhappiness? Will it change the situation that already happened? Since it already happened, then why would you be unhappy about it? Whenever you feel depressed, sad or mad, ask yourself what it really takes to feel better, is it really worth it to feel unhappiness? Everything is only temporary: impermanence, a very powerful understanding. Who chooses how long the state how you feel should last? Should it last a moment? Should it last a week, a month, a year or your whole life? Most of us realize just the moment we die how precious life is, how beautiful life is, how it was only a ‘waste of time’ to feel unhappy the times that you did, that it was not worth it to be unhappy. You do not need anything to be happy, you already got everything! You ARE life!
I’m immortal so I don’t deal with this stuff.
Death isn’t really a problem. I do not fear death – I do not fear the other side, nor do I fear simply “non-existing” if that is a possibility.
For some reason, I just have this incredibly irrational fear of painful death, like being run over, or splattered or burned alive or something incredibly unrealistic.
Someone on here once said, “Yeah, thats valid, but at least it would be over quickly.” which helps, but.. still. I get real fucked up in the head if I see someone die painfully, even if its hollywood style.
Death is a scary thing. I, personally, don’t think that anyone truly knows what happens whenever we pass over. The fact that no one knows for sure what happens is the aspect of death that makes it terrifying in my mind. I, myself, think that when our physical body dies, so does our consciousness. I think it’s just like a light is shut off, and we’re done. Although it is a scary thing, I think that my view of death gives life on this earth purpose. The fact that I believe my consciousness doesn’t survive death makes every moment of this life 10 times sweeter. So yes, I do fear it somewhat. I think that among other things such as family, friends, love, and knowledge, death gives our life purpose.
Of course this is just my opinion :)
Definitely an interesting topic.
I’ve never been a person who took deaths hard. From when I was 4 years old and my great grandmother died. My mother left me and my younger cousin in the car because she thought we were to young to watch the casket drop. (maybe they didn’t want us to see them crying.) I remember in that moment I didn’t understand why everyone was so torn up. She was old and is at peace after all. Since then I’ve seen distant relatives and even some school friends pass away and I still never felt to sad about death until my grandfather died and I noticed something.
Not much different from when my great grandma died I wasn’t sad my grandfather was dead. he was sick with cancer and is now at peace. What broke me down eventually to tears was knowing that my poor grandmother is going to be alone without him. Watching all of my little and older cousins cry. seeing the sadness in everyone was overwhelming.
I came to the realization that the only really sad thing about death are the ones who have to live on without the people they love.
@quiggz, I “look forward” to the moment my body goes, it seems like a very interesting thing going on there. Other then that I cannot say seeing how the fear of it comes out very illogical for me; we know we do not know what it means, we just know it will happen. The fear of what we do not know is weird :p
Note that “looking forward” isn’t = wanting, or longing. Life is also an equally interesting thing, I mean, it HAS to be equally interesting in relation to it’s counterpart.
And other then that again all I can say is that I trust what will happen to me will be the best thing that can happen to me, a trust in fate so to say.
Death is a beautiful thing.
Today I was thinking what if people where still living from 7 or 8 generations ago (1840s) with the same mentality they had before they died? I concluded that humanity as whole would stagnate in development simply because the older generation would make sure traditions and beliefs would always be enforced with little to no room of changing down the line of the generations. If the people that hated other people skin color to the point they’d enslave and lynch was still alive, do you think they would allow their younger generation to accept the race they hated?
I think death is necessary for humanity to grow up. People back in the day wouldn’t begin to entertain the thought of blacks having rights, but with our generation we barely know true racism, so we can’t protest and act out in as much hate as the older generation did. ( There’s many things you can probably list as well) But we really depend on the newer upcoming generations to bypass the older generations traditions, bias and beliefs to evolve us. To me that’s how humanity grow up, through the newer generations. With our current technology connecting everyone across the world globally, maybe in the newer generations coming up, humanity will be connecting more and more until complete unity with technology.
I know people that been in war that loss comrades to another country and they can’t ever begin to forgive the country. The thought of humanity uniting with their hated country would be despised, but offsprings down the generations of warfighters would do the forgiving for the older generation of that country because they never knew truly knew why their ancestors hated that country.
Death is a necessity to grow, otherwise the same ideologies from past generations would remain intact stronger then ever.
I tend to smile for that person. Especially if its someone whose lived a full life. In the event of a tragic accident or disease, I don’t smile so much. Even though it was meant to happen, it kind of bums me out. Any sadness I feel is not directed towards the deceased, but towards those who are mourning and crying. Watching a grandparent whom I’ve never seen cry in my life start bawling at the loss of his wife kind of gets to me. Yet, I always enjoy being reminded of my own mortality. Plus I’ve done work in a funeral home. Its important to keep a sense of humor in anything, even death.
I also tend to have this song playing in my head. I don’t really care what happens at my funeral, but it would be fitting if this song was played.
@escalade777, Death being a complete unkown makes it exciting to me. Not saying I condone or recommend it but suicide is the ultimate gamble the result could be good or bad but there is a thrill to be had. Im in no rush to die but I am excited to find out what happens next.