Is anyone else afraid of dying?

I lost my husband two and a half years ago and in this past year many of my friends have died. I suppose quite a lot of people die in their seventies. Frankly I’m really afraid of dying. Yet my daughters, now in their fifties are quite sanguine about their deaths and mine. Have I just got a bad attitude? I know it’s going to happen but I don’t want it to happen yet.

My wife died in August this year and she had been told that she would probably die within the year when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour. She did, however, live for four years more. I often wondered how difficult it was to live under that particulate cloud.
I’m scared of dying badly but not so concerned about dying well, as in hopefully just falling asleep and not waking up. My mother died over a year ago, my wife died in August and my Aunt died in October. On top of that my cousins wife died in October. I suppose I have thought about death quite a lot and also the need to put my affairs in order. I now live alone and so I’m concerned that if I fall ill who will know, who would find me, would the delay be critical, etc. I’ve lost a lot of friends over the years, some in each decade and also several work colleagues. Until recent events it didn’t play on my mind. I’m trying to find some sort of balance in things.

1 Like

Hi i think your thoughts are totally normal Shirls,im 56 and my husband was 59 when he passed,and i too have an underlying fear of how i will go,its the how that bothers me,not the after,but i tell myself although i dont always listen, that life is so uncertain and should i be really worrying about something i have no control over,everyone i have come across either never mention death,joke about it,or pretend they dont care,i think we all have that fear in us as it is a certainty,after my husband passed i didnt seem to care at all ,but as the months have gone along i realise i still have that fear inside simmering away,as old age is not a certainty and people pass at all ages x

1 Like

Ive just read FEAR essential wisdom for getting through the storm by Thich Nhat Hanh,its about acknowledging fear and grounding ourselves in the present moment,and finding the courage to face what frightens us,so we can carry on ,so dont know whether that may help Shirls,but i am reading a lot lately and fear is something im trying to understand about myself x

1 Like

Thanks everyone, it’s good to know I’m not too weird. I am having my will redrafted and also have a living will that I’m not kept alive by a lot of life support machines. It doesn’t help that I was educated by nuns who seemed to be obsessed by the fires of hell and damnation. Having that stuff hammered into you as a child is hard to get rid of. I envy my religious friends who have a strong faith.

I’m 28, my dad passed away 8 weeks ago at the age of 62. I’m not scared that I’m going die but I do now have irrational fears about totally healthy family members dying to the point it keeps me up at night, mainly the thought of loosing my mum or husband. Like im convincing myself that something else really bad is going to happen. It’s not something I ever really thought about prior to my dad’s death.
X

Deb I think that when someone close dies it makes you hyper aware of death and naturally you worry about others close to you, like waiting for the other shoe to fall. Life doesn’t work like that though and after a while this hyper vigilance will fade away.

I lost my wife this July and since, life has seemed empty. The thought of dying doesn’t bother me at all - It is inevitable. I’ve been trying to cope by going away on a couple of short breaks, but I guess I’m just trying to escape my feelings. I find that talking to people who are just getting on with their lives does help. So I’m hopeful that at some stage, I will start looking forward again, and not back as I have been up until now. My mother also died recently at the age of 98, so if I take after her, I’ve have an awful long time to go, feeling miserable, unless I pull my socks up. My wittering on may not help you, but what I’m trying to say is if you have something positive look forward to, your negative thoughts may just fade away. Remember, we are not alone, anyone who has been happily married and loses their partner will go through what we are right now. We will never forget, but things will get better - Look after yourself. Neil.

3 Likes

Hi Neil, in a way I’m glad my husband died first so he wouldn’t have to cope with this grief. I hope that’s not a terrible thing to say.

My wife used to say that she hoped I would die first because she wouldn’t be able to cope on her own, so it’s not a terrible thing to say; it’s a caring thing to say. My wife did actually try to take her own life some time ago, “to make life easier for me”! That was hell for me to get through. She realised after what a huge mistake she had made. But we did have 3 more wonderful years together.
So like you, I think it is better the way things have turned out. At least out partners are at peace, and we, like many more before us, can do the grieving. Look after yourself. Neil.

1 Like

Hi all, when I was a teenager I was terrified of dying. I don’t know what triggered it but I ended up going to the doctor’s who gave me some pills to help me cope. I then went through a phase of worrying about my close relatives dying. I lost my lovely husband 4 weeks ago today, and feel like part of me died with him. I am now 52 and I am actually looking forward to dying, in fact I ask George on a daily basis to let me die so that I can be reunited with him. I know that is utterly selfish when there are so many good people who desperately want to live, but I feel so alone and just want this pain to end.

Im sorry you lost your wife Neil,and your mother,i know the pain and emptiness it brings.I know Neil you are right a lot of people have this to come and they can never understand the emotions and feelings this grief throws at you until it happens.I have tried to think and analyze why i have fears concerned with death,as the how like i said does bother me,i think it has something to do with the suddenness of my husband and mam and dad passing,they were here one minute then gone the next,all totally unexpected,i think it seemed to create a fear of anything could happen at any time any age,but then i keep telling myself what does it matter ,if i go i go.I think you are not on your own Neil looking back,the past holds all of our experiences in life and we all want to go back,but yes the only way to move is forward,and at the moment i am still working on my emotional health,to be able to gain strength to not just exist but live forever how long as it is,productively.Sorry im rambling,You take care x

Hi Debra im so sorry you have lost your husband,i lost my husband in March this year ,we were married for 35 years,and at the beginning i actually wanted to die too,the pain is so all consuming in the early months,i can only say that now i am still here and pleased i am for my adult daughters and grandchildren,i miss and love my husband more than ever but have found a way somehow to keep going.I hope you can find a strength to keep going too Debra,wish i could say something to help,but please take care xx

Hi Robina, George was 20 years older than me, and in the normal order of things, it was always probable he was going to die first and I would have to endure some time on my own. I just did not expect it to be so soon and so quickly in less than 6 weeks from diagnosis until he died. I know death worried George and he did talk about it more as he got older, but he always used to say to me ‘once I am gone, I am gone, it is you and the kids I worry about’. The kids are grown up but he did tell me that I had to be strong for them. In reality it is them being strong for me. I really cannot believe that my husband who was so full of life and such a lovely, genuine person is no longer with me. I feel panicky and so afraid without him. He was my everything. Suicide is not an option because my step daughter who I have brought up since the age of 11 has already lost both her parents and I could not do that to her or my own son. George would also send me back if I tried. I feel more traumatised by George’s death than when it first happened. George died of a blood clot and I am so worried that he was frightened or wanted me in his last moments and I as not there. I hope it does get easier, maybe once I get back to work I might begin to feel better. Thank you Robina, you take care too xxx

1 Like

Hi Robina, George was 20 years older than me, and in the normal order of things, it was always probable he was going to die first and I would have to endure some time on my own. I just did not expect it to be so soon and so quickly in less than 6 weeks from diagnosis until he died. I know death worried George and he did talk about it more as he got older, but he always used to say to me ‘once I am gone, I am gone, it is you and the kids I worry about’. The kids are grown up but he did tell me that I had to be strong for them. In reality it is them being strong for me. I really cannot believe that my husband who was so full of life and such a lovely, genuine person is no longer with me. I feel panicky and so afraid without him. He was my everything. Suicide is not an option because my step daughter who I have brought up since the age of 11 has already lost both her parents and I could not do that to her or my own son. George would also send me back if I tried. I feel more traumatised by George’s death than when it first happened. George died of a blood clot and I am so worried that he was frightened or wanted me in his last moments and I as not there. I hope it does get easier, maybe once I get back to work I might begin to feel better. Thank you Robina, you take care too xxx

Hi Debra,
Although my wife had been unwell for 25 yrs with CFS, she had a severe pain in her stomach in June and was taken into hospital. She had a CT scan and 24 hrs later I was told that she had inoperable cancer. She died just 3 weeks later. All of a sudden, my world came crashing down, and that’s the way it has been ever since. We tried to say everything we wanted to say to each other in the short time we had left, but as soon as she was gone, I started thinking “why didn’t I ask this or why didn’t I do that”? I think everyone feels the need to blame themselves somehow, so don’t beat yourself up over what you wish you might have done. Just ask yourself what George would say about your emotions of guilt. I think that might give you the answer you are looking for. I hope so. Look after yourself - Neil.

Hi Neil, thank you for your reply. On the night before George went into hospital, we were settling down to go to sleep, and he looked at me and said ‘thank you for all you have done for me, no one has ever done as much for me as you have’. That was on the Monday and he died on the Thursday. George was also a widower before we married and I know he must have gone through all this pain and somehow came out the other side, although he never forgot his wife who died and we kept her memory very much alive and spoke about her all the time, especially for he sake of their two children. I know George would want me to be strong and although everybody keeps telling me that the blood clot was the kindest way for him to go as he probably would not have survived the chemotherapy, I still struggle with it. I know he would not have wanted to know he was dying or to suffer a long or protracted death but you are right he would not want me to feel guilty either. I will have to make peace with it somehow, but your words are very helpful and thought provoking. Thank you. You take care too - Debbie

Hi again Debbie,
It gives me some comfort to think I may have helped in a little way. Just messaging you and knowing that we are both going through similar feelings has taken some of the weight of my mind also - Quite therapeutic I think?
Look after yourself - Neil

1 Like

You take care too Neil, you really did help me. Thank you

My dearest Judy died on 10th December, very unexpectedly, but very peacefully. I have no fear of death but i don’t want a lingering one. What I fear most is what goes before. I would hate to slip slowly into dementia. Even more so, I would hate to be told I couldn’t look after myself and be taken into care. The thought of living in a tiny room with none of my stuff around me fills me with horror. I’m 76 by the way.

Back to top