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Death and Dying

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Death is one of the scariest topics for several people.  Our culture has learned to sidestep it in conversations.  Death is terrifying for several reasons.  We do not completely know what awaits us after.  We are not sure if there is an afterlife or if blank, nothing waits for us.  We have little control over happenings once we are dead.  We leave those we love behind and leave several things undone.  Dying is even worse.  Except for terminally ill people, we generally do not know how fast we are dying.  Worse still, the process of dying can be short and sudden without time to prepare for what happens after or very long and painful.

How to deal with death and dying

Despite the possible unpleasantness of death and dying, we all will go through it eventually.  What then do we do about this?  There are several approaches to dealing with death and dying and making the process easier to bear.  We will go through a few of them.

  • Many great people attribute their productivity to thinking about death.  They usually say they want to fill their lives with as much meaning as possible.  This drives them to work as hard as they can and carry out actions that others usually would not because they are conscious of a grand deadline.  In dealing with death and dying, you could take this approach.  You could try to do the things most meaningful to you.  A beneficial way to find out the things most meaningful to you is to try to find out what you would regret if you were going to die within the next few hours.
  • Another way to deal with death and dying is meditation.  If you meditate on death long enough, you will come to accept it as a normal part of existence as life cannot exist without death.  Once you get to the point where you accept your death, you would feel a profound sense of peace like the one you have never experienced.  To gain more on the subject, you could check the teachings of the Dalai Lama.
  • Living in the moment allows you to enjoy what life has to offer to you right now.  It can be empowering to live in the moment.  Little things like the taste of coffee or the feel of your nylon shirt when it is wet after a rainfall or the sounds a violin in the hands of a master can be very profound and have new meaning when you begin to live in the moment.  Life begins to have a completely new meaning when you realize how much you can get lost in the infinity contained in the smallest things.  When you learn to live in the moment this much, the worries of death and dying will melt away like butter on a red-hot knife.
  • Exploring spirituality helps in dealing with death or dying.  Most religions have a form of afterlife.  Knowing that things do not end in this realm can be extremely comforting.  If you already have a faith, you could put more energy and time into understanding your faith and what it says the afterlife is like.  If you currently do not have a faith, you could explore different religions and see which suits your personality and which has a version of the afterlife you are most pleased with.  When you explore spirituality, death becomes a little less mysterious, and you have a sense of continuity, which can be very comforting.
  • A way of dealing with death could be to have a child or adopt one.  According to biology, most species have a goal of passing their genes across to the next generation for a sort of immortality.  For humans, it is a little more complicated.  However, knowing you have someone to survive, you can carry your torch when you are gone can help significantly with the process of death.
  • Another way is to find love.  I admit that this is cliché, but it really could help.  Several of us would rather wait and accomplish our goals leaving love out of the equation.  Love could, however, help push you to achieve your goals and have the added advantage of getting you to get less worried about death.  It has a similar mechanism of action as living in the moment.  It gives you something else to think about and much to be grateful for. 
  • Planning for when you die can be one of the best ways to deal with death.  Doing this helps in many ways.  It helps you to know to the extent that those you ware living behind will be not be left helpless, and it gives you a measure of control once you are gone.

As uncomfortable as death is, we will deal with it at one time or the other either by ourselves or with someone we love.  It is, therefore, helpful to get a bit of understanding and knowledge about it before that time comes.

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