I don’t know that anyone really fears death. More than anything, I think we fear the cessation of life as we know it here on earth-if that makes any sense. Being of the Christian faith, I believe in death; but also of an everlasting life made possible for me by Jesus Christ. I’m not sure what that life will be like when I leave this place. Obviously it will be greater than anything I can comprehend, but it is the “unknown.” Odds are that I will enter into death alone, and leave my wife and children behind. This saddens me; but at the same time, it’s exactly what I want. After all, a man’s children should outlive him. I couldn’t think of living without my wife, and I wouldn’t want her to go with me just to keep me company.
I believe as many do, that our fear of the unknown is a big part of the fear of dying. I don’t know if it’s the only thing to fear. After all, there is a lot we know about death. We know that we will go away and leave our loved ones. We won’t wake up the next day and go to work. There will be no more birthdays, no holidays, and no vacations. All of the earthly things we love will be separated from us forever as far as we know. We know that others will be hurt deeply by our passing. Perhaps we’re afraid that we’ll witness that pain, and not be able to comfort our loved ones.
I was talking with a friend once about the end of the world. This friend is a bit of a conspiracy theorist who’s always looking at current events in the context of the end times. I made some sort of statement about not being ready to leave. He took a surprised tone and asked “Aren’t you excited about the possibility of the end -as a Christian?” He seemed disappointed that I didn’t look forward to living through the end of the world. I just said “I’m looking forward to being with the Lord, and leaving this place, but I don’t want to go tomorrow!” He just laughed.
Dying is a scary thought, no matter what your faith. I’m sure there are many who will claim no fear of death, and anticipate a bountiful afterlife according to their beliefs. I can really only speak for myself, and about my personal faith. As far as I know, there is little I know about life after death, but I believe it exists. I also know and understand that God is a completely different being, on a different plane of existence. He lives in a place where death is not a factor, so all talk of death with God is merely figurative. I believe if your faith is strong enough, you may cheat death for some time if it is God’s will. But why would it be God’s will, as he doesn’t see death in the same way. I believe he wants us all to come home to him; and because death doesn’t mean “the end of existence,” he can only empathize with us as we mourn.
We fear death because of the known as well as the unknown. I believe that faith can take away some of that which is unknown, and help us to accept what is known.