This conversation is closed.

What is death for you?

What is death for you? The big unknown? Something to fear? Something you Should get ready for? Something you dont want to think about? How does your perspective about death impacts your Life?

Closing Statement from Manue M

Thanks to all of those who have participated to that conversation.
Death is the big unknowned. It is often feared and sometimes not. Believing in higher beings or having an NDE are ways not to fear death. Another way is probably to live a good life and live the present moment fully like Colleen mentioned.
Self conservation is a positive instinct, that helps our species survive. However, being too afraid of dying can stop some people from living a full life.
I remember my first time in Lebanon fifteen years ago. The population had been so much confronted to death that they were just so full of life. But the older ones had lived under such stress that many of them passed away too early.
I think it is a question of balance. We cannot just spend our entire life thinking about death, but it is good to sometimes stop and think about the finitude of life. It can help us live a better life.

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    Mar 1 2012: Hello again Manue:>)
    Death, to me, is the permanent cessation of all vital functions of the body. At the time of death, and cessation of all vital functions, I believe the energy that powers the body/mind takes another form. We know, from scientific research that energy flows through the body, and we know, based on scientific information that energy does not simply disappear...it changes form.

    It does not feel "unknown" to me because I have experienced a NDE/OBE.

    I don't mind thinking about it, nor am I afraid of it:>)

    My perspective about death does NOT impact my life. I am HERE, NOW, and that is the important element:>)

    While volunteering in a terminal care facility for a couple years, however, and often sitting with people who were actively dying (meaning the organs were shutting down in preperation for death), I observed that how people live their lives often DOES impact their acceptence or fear of death. I observed that those people who had regrets and/or lived a life of fear, also had regrets and fear regarding the death process....simply an observation on my part.
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    Feb 29 2012: Manue, Death takes many forms. There is spirtual death, emotional death, physical death, and some of my best friends brain dead like me. It was written that a coward dies a thousand death and a brave man once. A piece of me died with my Mother, as Mary M expressed. I am sure that parents die a little with their children passing. I hate to see intellectual death from a promising student who "quits". As a wise man passed on dying is easy it is the living that is tough. I'm not sure that you can get ready for death. My theory is that if you do your best, live with honor, and respect your fellow man and nature you should not fear the hereafter. So far not a single person has come back to tell me if that is true or not. All the best. Bob
    • Mar 1 2012: Thanks for that answer. Very interesting. I am glad you came up with that point of view.
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      Mar 1 2012: Hi Bob.
      "So far not a single person has come back to tell me if that is true or not."

      One guy has, that's what all the fuss is about. :-)
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        Mar 1 2012: I was being heavy on the ethical lifestyle and tried to end on the lite side. Of course you are correct. Thank you for the correction.
  • Mar 2 2012: When you were a fertilized egg, the unfertilized egg died. Death is simply change. The egg became an embryo. The embryo became a child. When you were born into the world, the world you inhabited before ceased to exist. When you became a toddler, the baby ceased to exist. When I die, this phase of existence ends and new phase begins. Just as the unborn child did not know what to expect outside the womb, I don't know what to expect next, but I am not afraid of being dead.

    I'm a little afraid of dying simply because I don't want it to hurt. A lot of good things hurt, sort of. Having a baby hurts. Getting tooth pulled hurts. Growth spurts hurt. Even paper cuts hurt, so I suspect dying will hurt some too. I see dying as being born into something new. I have no idea what. What was I before the egg, before the sperm? What was the egg before it became the egg? It was something, it came from somewhere. It went somewhere too, and so will I.

    I believe we are eternal. Not because some religion says so, but because we are , essentially, energy and energy never dissipates. It just changes form and carries on.
  • Mar 1 2012: Death is a fascinating mystery to me. The physical body will return to clay, but I don't find it reasonable to assume that the universe only is what we can experience with our limited established senses. To me death is more like in the tarot decks, representing change, insight and transformation.

    Having some perspective on death makes me even more intrigued about life, will 75 years at average feel enough? It really fills my heart with joy and gratitude knowing that the time in my physical body is limited, the suffering is just a phase that we all have to go through, and it's completely natural.
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      Mar 1 2012: I agree Daniel, that death includes change, insight and transformation, and I also find it fascinating:>)
      I also find that joy and gratitude are important parts of the life/death cycle and the journey through the life experience:>)

      I do not agree that suffering is natural. Pain is natural, and I cannot imagine the life experience without some pain. However, suffering is created when we hold onto the pain, so I do not agree that suffering is natural.
      Definition of suffer:
      "To submit to or be forced to endure;labor under;to put up with;to allow esp. by reason of indifference.

      I see no reason to do that to myself!
      • Mar 1 2012: I agree that suffering in it self isn't natural, but I attempted to imply that the phase in our lives where we suffer is natural (before we get insight). :-)

        "Definition of suffer:
        "To submit to or be forced to endure;labor under;to put up with;to allow esp. by reason of indifference."

        I see no reason to do that to myself!"

        Me neither, but that's my feelings towards life as a teenager summed up nicely! :p
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          Mar 1 2012: You sound like a very insightful teenager Daniel...carry on:>)
      • Mar 1 2012: I left my teens three years ago, so eh... Oh well... Nevermind :p
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          Mar 1 2012: Oh...sorry....I missread your comment..."life as a teenager"...

          I acknowledge that you are MUCH older than a teenager:>)
          Kudos to you for your insight....no matter how young or old you are:>)
  • Mar 7 2012: I think death is losing meaning in going through the motions of life. Nothing scares me more than having nothing more to live for even if it's for a few moments. The idea of having no meaning, having to do work or go around mechanically is one that has never appealed to me. There may be conversations and friends but in the end that could all be part of the mechanical life process. True meaning in what we do-- dreams and aspirations is what life is all about for me.

    Having this perspective drives me towards finding purpose and meaning in what I do. It helps me find inspiration and good things in pretty much everything I do.
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    Mar 1 2012: Death is the decomposition of the body.
    If someone identifies his/her being with that body it's scary.
    Though knowing the true being you are is knowing that all that is temporary is not real.
  • Mar 1 2012: My mom used to tell me all sorts of stories about Hindu Gods and stories related to fairies, evil creatures etc while cooking for dinner. I remember getting the dreams of all the creatures described by my mom. And one day after lots of thinking and processing the different thoughts which I gathered with all that story telling and from being around the adults, I asked mom about death and my existence. What I was? before I born. Did I had the ability to think before that too? Will anybody remember who I was, after my death or that will vanish in the sands of time? It all happen when I was 8.

    When I saw my grandmother die, me and my little sister didn't know how to react. I remember being scared of the dark and loneliness as it used to bring thoughts of me dying someday and the unforeseen future that I am having. In that moment I used to get so scared that I will look for anything which makes me believe that I am still on earth and everything is real.
    I am 26 now, but when that thought comes to my mind I still look for connections which I have with this world.
    • Mar 1 2012: I am really interested in the theme you are bringing up: death and tales. Thanks for that!
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    Feb 29 2012: i see it as a return to reality, anything else wouldnt give the experience its dues. what i do think is it should not be feared or unwelcomed.
  • Feb 29 2012: Manue,
    This question or similar ones have plagued or interested persons perhaps since the beginning of humanity. All manner of conjecture, suspicion, and teachings have either helped or hindered thinking on this topic. Early man dreadfully feared death and imagined many different destinies for departed ones.

    Revelation over time has sought to clarify. Some persons reject any possibility of destiny and consider God as only an imaginary thing, while others have accepted something of a Mysterious One. Many names in many religions were developed. New revelation confirms and affirms a spirit destiny and offers details of the next level of life upon leaving the human material level. Accepting something of real life beyond human is far more attractive than a concept of becoming a nothing, or of us disappearing forever.

    Death is a reality for us all, but decisions determine fate. If we accept and are moving in our thinking toward the Mysterious One, although many concepts prevail in human thought, then we will survive and resurrect at a different life address in the Cosmos. We wake up over there where we were in mind and development while here. Progress and growth are needed as we continue life over there.

    There are many details of the life of Jesus of Nazareth; people did witness his Morontia (non-human material) form after his resurrection and his reawakening affirms for us that reawakening in a new life form is available for us.

    For believers, death is not a threat, but only a gifted gateway through which we pass.

    Peace,
    MK
    • Feb 29 2012: Thanks for your participation to the conversation Mark.
  • Feb 29 2012: Manue! Buenos dias! Ni hao ma!

    Death is the opposite of life.

    We cease to exist, to feel, to think, to act......

    Quote I once read: "I am not afraid of death, it is the dying part that scares me"

    Not knowing how we will die could be a source of uneasiness for some, especially as we get older. As parents, we can also suffer quite a bit thinking what will happen to our children if I were to die, or both parents died.

    Death is sometimes hard to talk about, but it is inevitable. It is good to discuss it with your loved ones so that they know your view of it.

    That being said, I will share one last quote from a song by Better Midler "The rose"......."the soul, afraid of dying, never learns to live." May we never feel like this.

    Nice question Manue.
    • Feb 29 2012: Hen hao xiexie!

      Mary, it is always a pleasure to read yours thoughts.

      I am not sure that death is the opposite of life. But you might be right, who knows.
      I am a pure agnostic on this point.
      • Feb 29 2012: So what do agnostics think about death Manue?

        I would love to know your point of view.

        Also, please translate "Hen hao xiexie".....I am trying to learn Chinese :)
        • Feb 29 2012: hen hao xiexie.... Means: Very well, thank you.... Ni ne? (and you?)
          There are basically (but some variants) two kinds of agnostics: theist agnostics and atheist agnostics.

          - Theist agnostics believe that there is something, but what? They cannot say for sure, only imagine.

          - agnostic atheist say that at this point in science, we cannot say for sure if there is "something" (God, gods, spirits, beings...) or not. There is no prove. So, they don't know. They can only imagine.

          I don't know.
          But I did have experiences similar to NDEs. The first one happened when my mum was in hospital about to die, 22 years ago. I was not asked to believe in anything.
          I did not know that my mum was about to die at all. She told me only three years later.
          I could still explain this experience in many scientifical ways.

          I am attracted to that question, like any other human being at some points in their life.
      • Feb 29 2012: Thank you for the reply.

        I do not understand this: "I did not know that my mum was about to die at all. She told me only three years later" .

        I have also been attracted to that question, and oftentimes I lie in bed in the still of the night meditating on it and on life........I find it very rewarding to do so.

        Living a life with purpose helps us to deal with death, in my opinion.

        I think the sad part of death is when it comes early......and we don't know why it happens, whether it is the result of an accident, or an illness, or violence.

        It is a serious topic, and one which I have read about alot.

        Please clarify the statement I had trouble understanding.

        Thank you Manue.
        • Feb 29 2012: Oh! Yes! Oups! Wrong formulation! I am glad my mum is still alive.
          My mum went in for an easy and fast surgery. It turned out there were major complications. Our parents chose not to say anything. My mum stayed days in hospital. I never went to see her because she had an operation in another town and my father was at home very sick. Three years later, my mum told me and my sisters she had almost died when she was in the operating room, but chose not to say anything before.
      • Mar 1 2012: Oh, I'm glad your mom is alive also. Thank you for clearing up the statement.

        I had a very similar situation happen, where the truth was withheld from me, but with a terrible ending.

        While living abroad my mom told me my grandmother was very ill and in the hospital. Then little by little she made things worse and worse. At one point I said, well, I'm coming home.

        She then proceeded to explain my grandmother was already dead and buried.

        Withholding the truth from me hurt me so much. Not being at my grandma's side during her last days of life were.....I have no words.

        I have never understood how someone, especially one's own mom, can lie about something as serious as death. Not having closure is a terrible thing.

        I have made my peace with the past. I hope to never lie to my children about anything so serious. I truly respect their right to grieve and be by the side of their loved ones if possible.

        I also like the idea of letting a loved one die at home surrounded by their friends and family, of course, if it is possible.

        PBS did a great show on death about 7 years ago....complete with how to make your own casket, and how to do a viewing at home. I found it fascinating......but I have never spoken to anyone about it, as many people fear speaking of death.

        Manue, I'm afraid I rambled......hope you don't mind.

        Be Well,
        Mary
        • Mar 1 2012: Thanks for the conversation. My mum always wanted to protect me when it came to discussions about death. She even told me my rabbit escaped when he actually died! I cannot blame her. But I would not do that with my kids.
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    Mar 4 2012: I think it is important to think about death from time to time as it helps to be aware of the finiteness of life. I always try to really do what I want in order not to regret when my time has come. Concerning the fear of death, I think it does not make any sense to fear it. How can you fear something you don't know? Sure, nobody wants to die in pain but the actual end of life is nothing to be afraid of.

    I even think that death has a certain degree of excitement in it, as sad as it may be. There is nobody who could actually tell what happens after life, but we will all find out and we don't have to long for it to happen because we can be certain that it will happen sooner or later.
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    Mar 2 2012: When we die, something else goes on to live when we return to the earth...plants, insects, bacteria, fungus....things which enable other things to live. Death, for me, is an essential step in the cycle of life. Try to get rid of it, or delay it as long as possible, like Aubrey de Grey posits, is just delaying the next cycle of life. And er, as you guessed, I'm not into cremation.
  • Mar 1 2012: Death is:
    not knowing the OutCome but,
    going through it, you will Come Out the other side.
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    Feb 29 2012: For me, death is a letting go of our physical body to return to our spirit form. I don't know what happens once we've passed, but I have always had an inate knowing that we are all safe.
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    Feb 29 2012: Death for me would be separation from my maker. He has promised me everlasting life & I believe Him.

    :-)
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      Feb 29 2012: wouldnt it be a return to a godhead not a seperation?
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        Mar 1 2012: Don't understand ,
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        Mar 2 2012: Hi Tim.
        Physical death is obvious. Spiritual death for me would be separation from my maker, regardless of whether my body is alive or not. I count myself as being spiritually dead for the first 35 years or so on earth. I guess when my body dies I will indeed return to the Godhead as you say. We will meet face to face, instead of 'by faith'.

        :-)
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    Feb 29 2012: Death for a born-again Christian means the end of imperfection with all if its results: sickness; hatred; fear; doubt; tears; sorrow; sadness; grief; etc.The Holy Bible teaches that there are two deaths. The first death is when all biological function ceases and the flesh begins to rot, or return to the dust from which it came. There is hope beyond this death. There is a way to avoid this perishing, that way is spelled-out in the gospel of Jesus Christ. A person can be resurrected from this first death to enter into everlasting life. From the second death there is no resurrection, only perishing. Deliverance from the second death is freely given to all who are born again.For verification read the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
    • Feb 29 2012: I totally respect The fact that you have a completly different point of view from mine. I think it is natural that some of us decide to believe in something definite and reassuring shared by millions of people, when it comes to the big unknowned.
      Still, i personally, do have an issue about the idea that you need to believe to be saved. For me this cannot be. If, if, if there was something else after death (i love to imagine that you are right on this point) who knows, for me, i could only imagine that this something else would be for everybody.
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        Feb 29 2012: Whether a person believes God's word or not is determined by God, not by man. If you humbly, and honestly ask, seek and knock you might receive the gift of faith. Thanks Manue. God bless you.
        • Feb 29 2012: Thanks for participating to the conversation Edward.
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    Feb 29 2012: Death is change of life, not an end. "When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death, we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven".