The only thing that I fear in life is loss. Loss of Family and friends physically. I have a dangerous job and thought that death was imminent more than a few times. The calm (adrenaline flowing nonetheless) focus has kept me alive and I'd bet soldiers would tell you the same.
I'm with doone, I expect nothingness and so for me, I only regret that I won't see my loved ones again after death. Fear of death would denote the expectation that I will be around to experience that loss that I do fear. I would have to ask some very serious questions of myself if I believed in an afterlife.
I agree with Lindsey. The human mind can't conceive of zero. Or so I've been told. I want to remain as a fly on the wall after I die. I want to see the first man on Mars and even farther, I want to see my great great etc grandkids. But isn't that the crux of religion. We create what we want to believe and refuse to acknowledge what is true. Because no one can prove that I won't be a fly on the wall. And if I were born in the ancient and superstitious past maybe it would have gone down like this, like a giant game of telephone: Caleb Daniel the great prophet of long ago; who will remain there after, verily he watches over thee. Whether clothed or unclothed he knowest what thou thinkest and what thou doest in your darkest hour. And ladies, he is pleased.
I don't fear death as a concept, once I am dead there will be nothing left of me but the memories I leave behind in the minds of others, and soon even those will fade and die in turn. I do not wish to die, as life is to be enjoyed and the longer the life, the more things that you can learn and enjoy and experience. But I do not fear it.
I remember being asked that question only once, as I was just beginning the process of coming out. "Aren't you afraid of what will happen to you when you die?" I remember thinking, "Well, a little, but not nearly as afraid as I once was, when I was trying to subscribe to religious thought." So yeah, even to this day I occasionally feel some anxiety (fear?) around thoughts of death, but not because I'm afraid what will happen to me "on the other side." I'm just not ready to leave I guess. I have noticed that the religious folks in my life seem so much more afraid of death than I do, even though they talk about the wonderful world waiting for them in the afterlife.
I agree. I was much more afraid of the "afterlife" when I believed. The tenants of most religions are like a tightrope. Lean one way and you wind up in hell. Then waiting till you got married seems a lot less appealing now that your burning for eternity.
As everyone else has stated, I do not fear death. I think we can all agree that it's regrettable that we will one day cease to experience this wonderful thing called life. But once I'm dead, I'm dead. I won't be around to experience the 'feeling' of being no more. I didn't seem to mind not being alive before I was born, so why should death be any different?
However, I do dread when my loved ones eventually begin dying before me. The lost of that companionship, friendship, kinship, etc is conversely tough on the living. I know that one day, I too will live on only in memory. It's my hope that those who wish to remember me, think of the good memories and try not to dwell on the fact that fact that I'm gone.
I think the major difference between the nothingness before we were born and the nothingness after we die is the lack of conscious awareness about the before nothingness until after-the-fact, and the acute conscious awareness about the after nothingness before-the-fact.
I do feel saddened that I will miss out on the further advancement of the human condition and science. I worry about my family and how they will deal with my passing. Mostly I am afraid that I won't find my place in this world before I die ( won't that suck? ). :)