Poll

What are your thoughts on death?

I'm afraid of dying.
4 (11.1%)
I'm afraid of my loved ones dying.
7 (19.4%)
I don't fear death.
16 (44.4%)
I don't fear my loved ones dying.
3 (8.3%)
Other (please post)
6 (16.7%)

Total Members Voted: 24

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Online One Above All

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What are your thoughts on death?
« on: December 16, 2011, 07:16:20 AM »
I've noticed that a lot of people get sad when other people die. I do not fully understand why. I understand that people might miss whoever is dead (although the reasons behind that reason also escape my understanding), but that's pretty much it.

I have also noticed that a lot of people fear dying. This is incomprehensible, IMO. Death is the end of all living things. *Agent Smith[1] voice* It is inevitable.
Why do people get upset over that which is inevitable and only happens to you once?

Note that I am not talking about theists who fear death, just people in general. I'm asking here because the only "reasons" (such as they are) I got when I asked people I knew IRL were a childish (IMO) fear of the unknown and the missing other people bit.
 1. From "The Matrix".
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 07:22:37 AM by Lucifer »
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Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2011, 07:29:18 AM »
I do not fear death, there is no reason to. Death is not the end anyway, to me. I have saw things that have already died and they are not fearsome at all. People who do get sad when people die shiould have a good reason to do so. The world is overpopulated, people die everyday - this is inevitable. The entire species may die eventually, they need not fear it.
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Offline plethora

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 08:28:00 AM »
I don't fear death itself ... I personally fear experiencing the act of dying... and I fear it for good reason. It is my evolutionary instinct to preserve myself, after all.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't opt for a less painful, more dignified death if I am diagnosed with a terminal disease (i.e. assisted suicide). I would fear a long, drawn out, painful death much worse than a quick painless one.

... and I am saddened when someone I feel certain degrees of affinity to dies... or when someone I admire dies. I can be saddened by the impact it has on other people.

My mother-in-law took 4 months to die. It was long, drawn out and painful. She was revived so many times... it was terrible. She died of an undetermined disease. It was probably neurological but the medical staff were unable to determine what it was despite many tests.

When she finally died, I felt relief. Relief that she was no longer in pain and all the pain she had gone though no longer mattered. I still felt sad, though. Sad because I loved her and it was emotionally painful for me to see her suffer so terribly. It was sad to see my wife grief stricken throughout the whole process. I was sad for my daughter who lost her grandmother and still misses her greatly.

I don't fear death ... but it's not exactly a pleasant thing, now is it?
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Online One Above All

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2011, 08:34:10 AM »
I don't fear death itself ... I personally fear experiencing the act of dying... and I fear it for good reason. It is my evolutionary instinct to preserve myself, after all.

Dying is probably quite painful most of the time, so yes, it's a good reason to fear it.

I'm not saying that I wouldn't opt for a less painful, more dignified death if I am diagnosed with a terminal disease (i.e. assisted suicide). I would fear a long, drawn out, painful death much worse than a quick painless one.

Of course.

... and I am saddened when someone I feel certain degrees of affinity to dies... or when someone I admire dies. I can be saddened by the impact it has on other people.

So you're both saddened by the death and other people's sadness. I can understand the latter, but why the former?

My mother-in-law took 4 months to die. It was long, drawn out and painful. She was revived so many times... it was terrible. She died of an undetermined disease. It was probably neurological but the medical staff were unable to determine what it was despite many tests.

Sorry to hear that. :(

When she finally died, I felt relief. Relief that she was no longer in pain and all the pain she had gone though no longer mattered. I still felt sad, though. Sad because I loved her and it was emotionally painful for me to see her suffer so terribly. It was sad to see my wife grief stricken throughout the whole process. I was sad for my daughter who lost her grandmother and still misses her greatly.

See the two points above.

I don't fear death ... but it's not exactly a pleasant thing, now is it?

No, it's not.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 08:39:40 AM by Lucifer »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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Offline plethora

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2011, 08:48:51 AM »
So you're both saddened by the death and other people's sadness. I can understand the latter, but why the former?

For purely selfish reasons. If I love someone, I want to spend time with them. When they're dead and gone, I don't get them back ... that makes me sad.
Same goes for someone I admire for whatever it is they do (musicians, scientists, writers, etc). When they're gone they no longer produce the thing I admired and that makes me sad.

I'm not sad for the dead person if that's what you meant... they have ceased to exist and there's certainly no reason to be sad for someone who no longer exists.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 08:50:29 AM by plethora »
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Offline plethora

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2011, 08:52:00 AM »
Sorry to hear that. :(

Ah, shit happens. Thanks for the kind thought though ;)
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Online One Above All

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2011, 08:55:14 AM »
For purely selfish reasons. If I love someone, I want to spend time with them. When they're dead and gone, I don't get them back ... that makes me sad.
Same goes for someone I admire for whatever it is they do (musicians, scientists, writers, etc). When they're gone they no longer produce the thing I admired and that makes me sad.

So you're not saddened by death itself but rather the permanent loss of a person.

I'm not sad for the dead person if that's what you meant... they have ceased to exist and there's certainly no reason to be sad for someone who no longer exists.

Nope, not what I meant.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2011, 09:10:57 AM »
I know I am not supposed to say this. My position seems to be held as some sort of intellectual "sin" amongst atheists. I fear death, and furthermore I think that anyone who states they aren't afraid is, to put it politely, just kidding themselves. Death is it; the end of your conciousness, the end of your life. I, like any human being, am afraid of death because I am the product of millions of years of evolution from the tiny specks of life trying to avoid dying.

I fear it as the end of me and my perception of the universe, of knowing what it is on the next page of history. That every joy, every sorrow, and every bit of experience ceases.

It is an unknown unlike any other unknown because it is something we have experienced in a fashion before we were born, yet is literally not within our perception. It is possible that we can find out how to make a perpetual motion machine, or learn the secret of faster than light travel, but we cannot understand nothing.

And whenever someone we know, admire, and/or care for dies, I also know that "within the distant Aidenn" we shall not meet them. It is sorrowful, it is painful. Everything they have been has been erased except in the shade and shadow of others memories of them, and even these flitting poor substitutes will, in time, also perish.

But yes, I will die. Just because I fear it, or wish it otherwise, has no bearing in the situation. I may fear poverty as well, but believing I have a magical trunk of unending money in the basement I can access later doesn't mean that such a trunk exists, and would likely end having me use what money I do have unwisely

Those that say you do not fear death, if someone offered you the choice between dying two weeks from now, and dying five years from now, I am sure you would choose the latter. It is that basic, we are animals and we have self awareness, we generally try to avoid dying...even though it is inevitable. We, as a species, so try to avoid the cold sober terror of nothing we invent absurd stories that death really isn't the end and call it some sort of special truth....even when the corpses pile up around us. Fearing death isn't insane; denying it isn't real, that's the insanity.



« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 10:14:11 AM by Hatter23 »
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Offline plethora

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2011, 09:13:01 AM »
So you're not saddened by death itself but rather the permanent loss of a person.

Yeah ... fair enough... I'll accept that statement.

Death, in the vast majority of cases, leads to the permanent loss of a person so it's easy to equate them. But I guess the distinction does apply in certain cases (people can die and be revived avoiding permanent loss).

Anything resulting in the permanent loss of a person I care about saddens me and death is only one of the many ways this can happen.
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Online One Above All

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2011, 09:19:44 AM »
I know I am not supposed to say this. My position seems to be held as some sort of intellectual "sin" amongst atheists.

You can express your thoughts freely. There is no "I am not supposed to say this".

I fear death, and furthermore I think that anyone who states they aren't afraid is, to put it politely, just kidding themselves. Death is it; the end of your consciousness, the end of your life. I, like any human being, am afraid of death because I am the product of millions of years of evolution from the tiny specks of life trying to avoid dying.

I don't fear death. I'm annoyed by it, because I'd like to live forever, but that's about it.

I fear it as the end of me and my perception of the universe, of knowing what it is on the next page of history. That every joy, every sorrow, and every bit of experience ceases.

I get to look back on my life and see all the people I've helped throughout the years. I will die with a smile on my face... Assuming that my death isn't instantaneous.

It is an unknown unlike any other unknown because it is something we have experienced in a fashion before we were born, yet is literally not within our perception. It is possible that we find out a perpetual motion machine, or learn the secret of faster than light travel, but we cannot understand nothing.

And that scares you? If anything, it annoys me to know that there's something I can't know.

And whenever someone we know, admire, and/or care for dies, I also know that "within the distant Aidenn" we shall meet them. It is sorrowful, it is painful. Everything they have been has been erased except in the shade and shadow of others memories of them, and even these flitting poor substitutes will, in time, also perish.

Speak for yourself. I have never felt sad as a direct result of people dying, only because other people are sad.

But yes, I will die. Just because I fear it, or wish it otherwise, has no bearing in the situation. I may fear poverty as well, but believing I have a magical trunk of unending money in the basement I can access later doesn't mean that such a trunk exists, and would likely end having me use what money I do have unwisely

Of course.

Those that say you do not fear death, if someone offered you the choice between dying two weeks from now, and dying five years from now, I am sure you would choose the latter. It is that basic, we are animals and we have self awareness, we generally try to avoid dying...even though it is inevitable. We, as a species, so try to avoid the cold sober terror of nothing we invent absurd stories that death really isn't the end and call it some sort of special truth....even when the corpse pile up around us. Fearing death isn't insane, denying it isn't real, that's the insanity.

See way above.

<snip>

Very well. Thanks for the explanation. :)
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Offline plethora

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2011, 09:26:05 AM »
Those that say you do not fear death, if someone offered you the choice between dying two weeks from now, and dying five years from now, I am sure you would choose the latter. It is that basic, we are animals and we have self awareness, we generally try to avoid dying...even though it is inevitable. We, as a species, so try to avoid the cold sober terror of nothing we invent absurd stories that death really isn't the end and call it some sort of special truth....even when the corpse pile up around us. Fearing death isn't insane, denying it isn't real, that's the insanity.

I can think of many situations where I would prefer death to come sooner than later.

Experiencing unbearable physical or emotional pain are the two major reasons people welcome death.

Now, I did say above that I fear experiencing the act of dying. I certainly fear that.

... and if I were about to be put down painlessly via lethal injection I would probably suffer quite a bit of mental anguish before losing consciousness even if I were certain I would feel no pain.

However, I am not afraid of death itself. Of course, I dislike the idea of ceasing to exist... but I know that when that happens, I won't be around to give a shit.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2011, 10:05:24 AM »
Those that say you do not fear death, if someone offered you the choice between dying two weeks from now, and dying five years from now, I am sure you would choose the latter. It is that basic, we are animals and we have self awareness, we generally try to avoid dying...even though it is inevitable. We, as a species, so try to avoid the cold sober terror of nothing we invent absurd stories that death really isn't the end and call it some sort of special truth....even when the corpse pile up around us. Fearing death isn't insane, denying it isn't real, that's the insanity.

I can think of many situations where I would prefer death to come sooner than later.

Experiencing unbearable physical or emotional pain are the two major reasons people welcome death.


Yes, I have said that before, but didn't state that here; Suicide is a viable option. In the case of emotional pain, generally a poor choice, but certainly an option. Just because you are afraid of something, doesn't mean choosing it is impossible when faced with something even worse.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2011, 02:55:54 PM »
A lot of you have made points that resonate with me.

I felt sad when my dad died. It wasn't that I was going to miss the man he'd become. He'd suffered from senile dementia for so many years that he was already gone. It wasn't that I believed he'd ever be the man I loved again. I believe my sadness was a delayed mourning for what was lost. An acknowledgement that he was truly gone and I'd never hear his laugh again, or see him play with my dogs, or have his support as I made difficult life decision. It put the final period at the end of the sentence that was his life. His brilliance, his kindness, his honesty ... I had to acknowledge that all of those things were gone. I don't feel sad for him. He was already, for all intents and purposes, gone. The shell that was his body simply lived on after his consciousness had pretty much left the building. And now that he's dead he's no longer suffering.

I felt sad when my greyhound died of bone cancer. I miss him. Of all the dogs I've had in my life, he was the best. I could count on him to protect me when I felt unsafe, to steady me when I was off balance from chemotherapy, and to make me smile when I felt sad. I miss him. He was, to put it sappily, my heart dog.

Is it selfish to miss someone we loved? I don't think so. I know I will love again. I'll have more dogs. I'll make friends, and I still have my mother and my brother. But I will never have another father. I will never have that fabulous greyhound. And that's sad. I think sadness is a very natural reaction to loss. I would no more want to squash my sadness than I'd want to squash feelings of joy or delight or love. My emotions are signs that I'm alive to each moment. They're signs that I'm paying attention. They're signs that I'm not dead inside.

I went through a phase as a teenager when I could handle anything. I could watch horror movies. I could hear of the death of a loved one. I could stay stoic and unemotional. But it wasn't that I didn't have those feelings. It was that I stuffed them away so that I didn't experience them. I felt them later. Sometimes years or even decades later, when I finally opened up the metaphorical box I'd stuffed them in and let them out. I am not an emotionless vulcan. I'm a human being. I feel things.  If that makes me irrational to some of you, so be it.
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Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2011, 03:13:58 PM »
“Death, the most frightening of bad things, is nothing to us; since when we exist death is not yet present, and when death is present, then we do not exist” Epicurus

I can honestly say I do not fear death, but what I do fear is the same as plethora. Pain. Long drawn out painful demise is the most fearful thing thing to me because it is inevitable and uncontrollable when you have a disease that is not curable.   
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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2011, 03:18:41 PM »
“Death, the most frightening of bad things, is nothing to us; since when we exist death is not yet present, and when death is present, then we do not exist” Epicurus

I can honestly say I do not fear death, but what I do fear is the same as plethora. Pain. Long drawn out painful demise is the most fearful thing thing to me because it is inevitable and uncontrollable when you have a disease that is not curable.   

Yes, this is how I feel about death death. I don't fear the death, but I fear the painful path that often leads to it. If death comes quietly in the night while I'm sleeping, who cares. I won't be around to notice, and I have no fear of that.
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Offline Nick

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2011, 03:43:00 PM »
Yeah, I guess it is the way it happens.  Tragic accident with pain, or long strung out illness, or growing old to the point where you can't even wipe your own butt anymore.  All are bad in my book.

I'm more for the option to choose your own exit.  When the time is right I want to have a great meal, sit in a nice chair and listen to my favorite music with a big screen showing wild life and sunsets and be given something to slowly put you to sleep.  Body then donated to science.  Nice, simple, clean, and painless, and on my terms.
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Offline Sleeping Shadow

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2011, 07:22:04 PM »
I am afraid of dying, as selfish as it might sound. Overpopulation is like the only reason I can understand of people accepting death. The thought of ceasing to exist after I've already existed is very disturbing to me. I'd like to take the Grim Reaper's scythe and cram it up his ass (as cool as he might actually be).

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2011, 08:11:24 PM »
I am not afraid of dying. I find that it will happen to me sometime, whether soon or in the distant future. I can't hide from it. It will happen to everyone. I live where it snows a lot and every winter I wonder if I will survive it.[1]

Personally speaking I am afraid of my loved ones dying, but there are two people who I truly love the most: my husband and my youngest sister. If either one of them died I just don't know how I'd be able to function, as cliche as that sounds, because those two people are the ones who I truly feel are there for me when needed. My parents on the other hand I feel that I'd mourn for some time, but I'm not really afraid of their death, because I'd get over it and accept it. If my sister died I don't think I'd ever get over the mourning process only because I'd lose someone who has been there for me through absolutely everything whether I wanted her to be there or not, and it's hard to imagine my life without her.

Death doesn't scare me. I just don't want to die in certain situations. Hospitals scare me, and I don't want to die in a hospital room with IVs in my arm. Though I can't speak for myself yet[2] I'd rather suffer in the comfort of my own home surrounded by the things I worked hard to achieve and gain than in a room that has no significance to me, and where others probably have died before me.
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 2. By that I mean perhaps I'd give in and say, "take me to the hospital to pump me with pain killers. Or something like that
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 08:13:34 PM by Emily »
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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2011, 09:08:15 PM »
I’m having too much fun to die, so that feeling of sadness over fear when the time comes.  I am trying to talk my wife into parachuting over arctic regions, hoping in the future advanced life regenerates us other than a polar bear or the Taliban finding our bodies, although my wife wants to be mumified. 

A lot of family deaths will be sad because our extended families are close, and a lot of friend’s deaths will be sad, only because the fun with all those people will be over.  Still want to make it to about 125 though.
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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2011, 03:10:48 PM »
I don't fear death, and for awhile, for certain people in my life, when they past on, I am saddened but luckily none extremely close to me have died yet, so, I really don't know the affect that'll have on my as of yet.

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2011, 03:22:09 PM »
I went through a phase as a teenager when I could handle anything. I could watch horror movies. I could hear of the death of a loved one. I could stay stoic and unemotional. But it wasn't that I didn't have those feelings. It was that I stuffed them away so that I didn't experience them. I felt them later. Sometimes years or even decades later, when I finally opened up the metaphorical box I'd stuffed them in and let them out. I am not an emotionless vulcan. I'm a human being. I feel things.  If that makes me irrational to some of you, so be it.

I'm like that right now, only I really do not feel anything when I lose people/things I like. There are a few exceptions[1], obviously, but most of the time, I don't miss people, nor do I feel anything when people die.
 1. People I'm in love with being the only one that I can think of right now.
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Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #21 on: December 18, 2011, 08:23:45 AM »
Still want to make it to about 125 though.

Don't bet on that.
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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #22 on: December 18, 2011, 08:25:59 AM »
Still want to make it to about 125 though.

Don't bet on that.

Why not? IIRC, a biologist suspects that the person who will live to 150 has already been born; it would only make sense that a person who will live less has also already been born.
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Offline Samuelxcs

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2011, 08:33:51 AM »

Why not? IIRC, a biologist suspects that the person who will live to 150 has already been born; it would only make sense that a person who will live less has also already been born.

That is true, but there are a lot of bad things in this world, if someone lives over 100, they eventually want to die.
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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2011, 08:34:37 AM »
That is true, but there are a lot of bad things in this world, if someone lives over 100, they eventually want to die.

Maybe that's true for most people. Personally, I wouldn't mind living forever.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Bereft_of_Faith

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2011, 02:26:54 AM »
No fear, but I know that when one loses someone close to them, the realization that the individual is gone and that their presence that had been so much a part of one's thoughts and activities, would be gone with them, is a very hard pill to swallow.

Death may be merely the cessation of life, and it is certainly the fate of all, but knowing that does little to take away the sting.  The only consolation for those suffering such a loss is that time will usually dull the pain to little more than an occasional twinge.

Everyone wants to be missed when they die.  I'd rather be forgotten.

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2011, 02:38:52 AM »
No fear, but I know that when one loses someone close to them, the realization that the individual is gone and that their presence that had been so much a part of one's thoughts and activities, would be gone with them, is a very hard pill to swallow.

That seems to be what happens.

Death may be merely the cessation of life, and it is certainly the fate of all, but knowing that does little to take away the sting.

Maybe for you. I've never felt sad as a direct result of death[1].

The only consolation for those suffering such a loss is that time will usually dull the pain to little more than an occasional twinge.

True.

Everyone wants to be missed when they die.  I'd rather be forgotten.

So not "everyone". Personally, I'd rather have people party at my funeral or not have anyone there at all. If you're going to cry over yet another death like I'm somehow better than everyone else who died, you can do it at home.
 1. I felt sad, but only because other people were sad. The death itself was meaningless to me.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 02:46:04 AM by Lucifer »
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline Truth OT

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2011, 05:57:01 PM »
I'm vain, so I definately dread death. For me, the world is nothing if I ain't in it. For us all, death will be the end of all that we hold dear and are totally (not just emotionally) invested in. Is it not natural to dread the end of things we hold dear or define ourselves by? Death is both of those things to the nth degree.

I liken death to my experience of playing ball. I knew my time playing was limited and by the time I became a senior, I could see the end vividly. The reality that I would never put on a uniform and compete as a part of a team that mattered was hart to accept. For my entire life I had been a ball player, playing was my passion, I loved being on the stage, and being a ball player was defining for me. Giving it up was saddening, but my sadness was tolerable because I knew that althought my days of playing ball were coming to their end, I would still be able to play pick up games and spend time with my teamates in other ways. I looked at it as having a new life to look forward to. With death, no such hope exists.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 05:58:53 PM by Truth OT »

Offline Chronos

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Re: What are your thoughts on death?
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2011, 08:19:07 PM »
Death is something I am always closer to than farther from. Such is life.

I'd rather it come unannounced.

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