Fear of Dying
Eileen Renders November, 2023
Although I have no statistics on this subject, I believe it is fair to say that the number of people who fear death is staggering. Young people for the most part, rarely think about dying, probably as it seems like centuries before they need to think about that. Middle-aged adults are often fully consumed with their careers or working and raising a family. Often however, by the time most individuals reach retirement age and believe they have reached the golden years where they enjoy their savings, and government benefits, they begin to face health issues, boredom, or the loss of a spouse and suddenly come face to face with their mortality.
It can become a bit overwhelming as one is usually not prepared for this phase of life. Yes, dying always comes at the end of living one’s life, regardless of how long, or how short that life is. It is natural therefore to question how we will die, and what happens next after death.
Often it has been said that fear is the opposite of trust. As Catholics, we profess to believe in God and to trust in God. If this is so, why fear death? We always knew that life on earth was a temporary situation. If we lack trust in God, why?
Are we suddenly questioning all that we have learned about God and our faith? Or could it be that we are questioning how we lived our life, and that we could have been a better person? Perhaps, this is the time to seek out a Catholic Deacon for counseling. Begin a more fervent prayer life, and frequent the sacraments. Examine our conscience and attempt to discover what it is that we feel has been left undone in our lives, and who we may need to reconcile with.
Now that you have some free time in your life, make amends where we can is a good start. Accept our death, as Christ did for us. Most of all, praying for God’s grace that we might grow in trust is how I often spend some time. Trust and acceptance of God’s will is a surrender, which opens us up to the ecstasy on soon seeing the face of God.