I was thinking about this the other day; and it's a bit confusing to describe, but I'll go ahead and attempt to describe how I came to terms with an idea that i thought death would be like. I started by thinking about what happens to our consciousness when we die, it disappears. We are no longer conscious about ANYTHING because we cannot SENSE anything any longer. So i tried to imagine it. here is what i came up with: think about the space behind your eyes... behind your fields of vision. Can you get that feeling of "Nothingness"? It's really hard to describe :/. Just know that I came out of that thought no longer fearing death because I know i won't remember it. The key is in awareness. The quote the individual posted below me sums it up perfectly. This is what worked for me :)
Not only won't you experience anything after death, there will no longer BE a YOU to experience anythiing. Dying is an experience. Death is not. Your death will be experienced by your remaining friends and relatives.
Best way I've ever heard it put:
"Remember those billions of years before you were born?"
I don't have to come to terms with it. I won't be around to be distressed by it. Now, if we're wrong and there IS some type of afterlife, then clearly I wouldn't be DEAD, I would just have moved on to another stage of LIFE, so it still isn't "coming to terms with death." I've always been amazed at how people call it the "afterlife" and say "when you DIE you go to heaven" or whatever. If you're still existing in a conscious state, you are NOT DEAD!
I just make sure that when I'm dying, I will not be regretting anything. I will live my life thoroughly, always thinking that NOW is the only time to do what I really want. When I die, I die, and hopefully I'll have kids and family members who will remember my person. That is all that matters. I will make my short time on earth be worth while and when I die, I will not regret that I never followed my heart.
I ask people: Did you care about 100 years ago? because you will care about 100 years from now just as much.
The same way I come to terms with falling asleep. One minute I am awake and conscious, the next I slip away into unconsciousness. As being dead means that the bodily functions has seized, that part of it will be painless. Hopefully whatever leads up to that point will be too. Worrying about death is really only for the living and a waste of time one could otherwise spend enjoying life.
I just don't try to dwell on the inevitable too much. I get the fact that once its over its over. My consciousness will cease to exists, not a whole lot I can do to change that. I guess my biggest concern is what I leave behind. Will my accomplishments be remembered or will I simple cease to have ever existed.
Either way I want to just be able to say, I had fun while it lasted.
I just wish euthanasia were an option in this country (I don't think I'll be able either physically or financially to go the Swiss route). I don't mind the being dead part, but I don't want to go in painful agony.
Before I begin my reply I would like you to understand that I am already very aware that I am a DICK, and that I do not appose the idea of euthanasia. Ok....
Your a pussy! What do you think oxycotin is for? You should just hang yourself now because life is full of more pain than you can experience in death.
Unless you believe in the possibility of life after death, in which case you've got to think again. Also, life may be full of pain, but we hope it is full of pleasure and joy too, so it's a bit pessimistic to cut off your nose to spite your face like that. Why not DEAL with the pain instead of just giving up. I can see Doug Reardon's point, perhaps - there can come a stage when it's all pain and no pleasure, and is never going to get better, and who in their right minds would not want to snuff it then? If that person was an animal then "putting down" would be considered the kindest option. Certainly the person's relatives, if they have a shred of decency, would want that too, and may smuggle something into the hospital - I know I would do that for a certain person, if I was truly sure it was necessary, and screw the consequences. Why is Doug a pussy? I think someone hasn't come to terms with it themselves... you protest too much... I wonder if you have "dick" issues? Forgive me, but you've got to laugh at the whole thing. Life is a lot scarier than death.
Simon I don't believe in life after death but it is a fact we will all experience death and that it may be painful. I called Doug a pussy for not wanting the experience of death because of the possibility of painful agony. I said that's what drugs are for. Get me high enough and I would feel only discomfort if you were chopping off my fingers one at a time.
So now the pain in life compared to the pain in death(not after death!) I'm sure if you add up all the pain you will experience in your life and compare it to the pain you will feel in death or so you don't get confused... while dying I'm sure the pain in your life will exceed the pain of your death. So yes I agree with your last statement that life is a lot scarier than death. So if Doug really doesn't want to experience pain than he shouldn't wait till he's dying in which time he has experienced most the pain he will ever feel. He should just do it now.
Now that you have made me explain my comments further I realize it was not such a dick comment but rather a rational one.
Thanks for calling yourself a dick, you're a gentleman, you didn't have to. If I understand correctly, your point is that if we want to avoid the pain of life, then a simple solution is just to check out early, when we feel we've had enough pain. (I'm not sure you're being entirely serious.) I would say that this would be a grossly criminal waste of our precious life - a cowardly surrender, giving up all potential for happiness, pleasure and joy, just so as to save ourselves some pain. That goes against every instinct in our DNA. Organisms which use DNA (i.e. all organisms) have evolved, among other properties, the instinct to survive at almost any cost. DNA laughs at our pain, and keeps us bravely marching on, hoping that things might get better, until we drop dead. I believe that this instinct is at the very core of every living thing, especially animals.
Dying itself is probably not painful at all. We know of many cases when people have died peacefully without showing any pain. Lucky them. However I think Doug is referring to dying slowly of a long lingering painful illness: in which case the process of dying itself is long and unremittingly painful, and death is a welcome relief. So in that case he would prefer to be finished off early, quietly and happily like any terminally-suffering cat at the vet's. Yay! Who wouldn't? Gimme some of that cat stuff. There's one person only who I would take responsibility for in that way. Nobody else. It does seem strange that a normal cat gets the 4-star blissful death as a matter of course, while many humans are condemned to months or years of Hell on Earth when their time comes. Well I'm going to pull all the strings I can if I get in that situation. I know people who know people and my people would sort me out. Assuming they're still alive. Dammit, there's no way I'm ending up like that.