Are You Afraid Of Dying?
I went to see a film, “Tree of Life”, on Saturday with a friend of mine. The film, written and directed by Terrence Malick, deals with such existential questions as: Where is God? Where is the person I used to be? And where are the people that have departed? Terrence Malick, in my opinion, doesn’t tell stories, but instead he opens the door to the possibility of a deeply intimate voyage. His images, words and sounds are the conduit, but the experience is unique to each one of us.
On the way home, while talking about the film, my friend said: “I’m not afraid of dying.” It was the second time that week I was hearing the same statement. This time I thought I should ask what this friend meant. He went on to explain that at some point in his life he had been a drug-addict and an alcoholic, and because of that he had developed some serious medical conditions that would end in death if he didn’t stop with the addiction. Because he loved life more than drugs and alcohol, he went into a facility and now has been sober for twenty years.
I told him I thought not being afraid or being afraid of dying meant; you are going to die, no question about it, now how do you deal with that knowledge? The answer, none of us know for sure until we face that situation.
I often say my late husband and I were cast perfectly in the roles we lived through as he fought to destroy his cancer. I’m a great caretaker and advocate while he was able to let go of vanity – as his appearance deteriorated – and put his arms around the real possibility that he was going to perish. Seeing what he went through, I don’t know if I would have had the same strength and grace.
I think for most of us, fear comes from letting go of our egos. We are afraid of ceasing to exist as ourselves. Everything we fought for while alive – the right to be who we are, to be noticed and appreciated – vanishes with the end of the ego.
There are many believes and theories about what happens to us after we die. I don’t really know, but think most likely we become part of the universe simply because energy cannot be destroyed only transformed.
But regardless of what you or I think, we will all face the moment of death. But what we do before we get there is something we can all do something about.
By no means I live life thinking of death. There is no heavy doom and gloom in my existence. But I try to be aware of the present time. Meaning, I try to appreciate as much as I can. I also often ask myself have a dealt with a situation in a way that in the future I will have no regrets? Have I applied love instead of pride?
I believe if we work to live a life where love – more than pride – is the modus operandi, and where moments were fully lived instead of barely experienced, we will be in a better position to deal with the ultimate question, whatever that is.
Below is a post by Deepak Chopra on End of Life Experience (ELE).
MODERN MEDICINE AND THE PARADOX OF HOW WE DIE
By Deepak Chopra
Let me begin by reassuring you that this isn’t going to be a grim post. But it begins in an area people are uncomfortable with. We all must die, yet this is one inevitability that almost nobody feels comfortable talking about. That includes doctors and nurses, as was discovered in a newly published study from King’s College in London. It surveyed the staff that surrounded dying patients in hospices and found that they witness every common end-of-life experience (ELE). These fall into two types, and one of them will seem very strange…Continued