I disagree with that stance. I was taught about Jesus' Death in early childhood, and so death has always seemed a normal, if sad, part of life to me, and I raised my four children with the same awareness of
death that I had when I was growing up. They turned out to be perfectly adjusted adults, with a wonderful sense of humor.
Death happens to everyone. One hundred years from now, the vast majority of those living today will not be around. The children of our children's children will be the new face of the earth, and then they too will leave. Does this observation scare you, or does it offer you hope and respite?
Whether we regard death as our friend or foe, the fact remains that death is our individual end of the world we know it. How liberating do you think it would be if you were able to answer a few basic questions that will help you see how you have programmed yourself to deal with the inevitability of death?
Here are a few questions for your consideration: do you believe in the afterlife? Many people do, in fact belief in the afterlife exists in every culture. If you believe in the afterlife, do you think that when you die you'll go to Heaven? Where is Heaven located? Is it a physical place? Well, how could it be a physical place since you will not have a physical body when you get there? Do you regret having to die? Some people would love to live forever in this earth, and they swear that they wouldn't get bored because they'd be forever learning new things. Maybe you are one of those people who believe that even though your body dies you will always be a part of the Universe because once something exists it always exists.
Learning about different philosophical approaches to death can be a positive thing because we can learn something helpful, so why keep it a taboo? And why go through it alone?
When I look back at my husband's months preceding his death, I don't see him sharing with me how he felt about dying. He kept it all inside. Was he in a perpetual state of denial? Was he afraid? I don't know, but I wish I had known, because I could have tried to offer him some support. He was an intelligent man, surely he had seen the X-rays of his cancer-ravaged liver hanging on the white lit glass wall in the doctor's office. I know I did! Why didn't he want to talk about the inevitable? Was it because he was too afraid of death to talk about it? I tend to believe that to have been the case.
ll the nice, uplifting stories we may have heard or read about will be of little comfort to someone who has been given four to six months to live, because the fear of death, which is meant to keep us alive, now emerges as a sharp awareness of imminent doom. However one can voice that fear and see if there is anything anyone can say that can help mitigate it. If you keep it inside, people don't know what you are thinking, and they don't know what to say to you, because they don't want to offend your sensibilities by saying too much or too little.
If you have made peace with the concept that when you die you will simply go into the ground and turn into dirt and bacteria, none of this will matter to you; indeed thinking about death will seem like an exercise in futility and a mere waste of time.
There are those who listen but don't hear, and look but don't see! To such people there doesn't seem to be a shred of evidence that life will go on after we die, and this realization makes death appear to be an enemy to be feared, rather than an event chockfull of new possibilities. Some of these people believe that humanity is so afraid of death that it has created comforting stories of the afterlife. They are firmly convinced that the afterlife is unnecessary, because we continue living through our progeny.
When we resist the temptation to define death as an absolute finality, then we are keeping the door open for other possibilities, and therefore, we have hope, and hope is what makes life worth living with a smile.