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#1 Posted by JasonR86 (9659 posts) -

So my cousins' grandmother is 96. She is a very close friend and I consider her to be as much my grandmother as my own "blood" grandparents. Her health has been getting worse and worse year after year but she was still doing fairly well and was living by herself relatively independently. However, a few days ago she slipped and fell late at night and really messed herself up. She broke her arm, messed up her shoulder, and lost a lot of blood. She had to crawl ten feet to get to her phone but was so hurt that it took her nearly an hour to do so. She had surgery yesterday and it was told to her that, due to her age and physical health, there was a good possibility that she would never wake up again following the surgery. My whole family and I saw her before the surgery and she stated that she was scared to go to sleep and didn't want to die. Luckily she didn't. She was stable through the whole surgery. However, she isn't out of the clear yet. She told me that she is still scared to close her eyes and go to sleep because she is afraid she'll never open them back up.

The reality is that she could die at any moment. Her death is at arms reach and the fact that her physical health is failing so much suggests that she is really coming up on it. I feel so sorry for her because she hasn't embraced this fact yet. She is scared to die yet there it is staring her in the eyes. She is a stones throw away from it. But she continues to cling on to the idea of life and so she is scared to death of dying. Not that she should expect to die and deny life. Rather, I would like it if she could accept the reality of death so that she could die fulfilled rather then scared. It made me really think about myself in such a situation. What would I do? How could I prepare myself?

I don't really want advice. I'm curious more about how each of you would prepare for your own deaths in such a scenario. What would you do? How could you work past the fear? At the moment I honestly don't know what I would do.

#2 Posted by Xeiphyer (5602 posts) -

Play Dark Souls

#3 Posted by ajamafalous (11964 posts) -
@Xeiphyer said:

Play Dark Souls

hah
#4 Posted by JasonR86 (9659 posts) -

@ajamafalous said:

@Xeiphyer said:

Play Dark Souls

hah

Dicks.

#5 Posted by ajamafalous (11964 posts) -

I think once I hit 50-60 I'll be ready; as far as I'm concerned everything after that is extra time. Get my will and everything in order and then at that point just live life, because you never know when something like that might happen. I don't expect to make it past 70.

#6 Posted by TooWalrus (13178 posts) -

I don't really fear death (at least, I don't think I do- but when faced with it, who knows). I'd probably gather around my loved ones and embrace it... maybe say a quick prayer. Ya know, just in case.

#7 Posted by OppressiveStink (356 posts) -
@JasonR86

Be always prepared, its the only solution.

Never stay mad, squash your quabbles, never let a thing that needs to be said, unsaid. Make sure the ones you love know you love them and you will always be ready for death.
#8 Posted by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

Well, as someone who used to fear death i now see it as an inevitability that will catch up with all of us in time and death in itself is an experience of life. No one knows what happens after death and when the time comes you finally get to find out... or not which in itself is an answer i guess. Though to be honest i feel by the time you've lived to 96 you should have made peace with your mortality some time ago, and if she hasn't by now i doubt you'll be able to give her a revelation. I think the best thing to do is make sure she is as comfortable as possible and ensure she has your full support until she recovers or passes away.

#9 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19331 posts) -

I like to think it's been a while since I've accepted death as an inevitable conclusion to life and that fearing inevitability is somewhat pointless. This could obviously change once I actually have to face it myself, but it's not something that I'm preoccupied by.

#10 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Tradition among royalty, actually: just lie down in a bed with your arm hanging out, waiting for death to grasp your hand.

#11 Posted by SexyToad (2760 posts) -

I don't know. I'm far from being old enough to die naturally but I've thought about this before. I would think I would hate it. No one wants to die, right? I wouldn't want to just wait till its my time.

#12 Posted by shermanatorek (114 posts) -

Poor lady. It sounds like she hasn't lived her life to the fullest and still has regrets. She's probably going to become a ghost when she passes.

#13 Posted by Stonyman65 (2681 posts) -

That sucks dude. Best wishes to you and everyone involved. Let's hope it all ends up okay.

Now to answer the question:

I've seen a lot of death in my life, close family members, friends, more house-pets than I can count... It doesn't get any easier as time goes on. What all of this has taught me is that death is something that you can't understand, and it's something that isn't going to "wait" for the right time. There really is nothing anything or anyone can do about it. When it's your time to go, you are going. End of story. You can't dwell on that stuff, because it won't get you anywhere. You just need to live life and value what time you have left. That's all anyone can ever do.

#14 Posted by MegaLombax (387 posts) -

I constantly remind myself that today could be my last. The fear of death is a constant. It's not like I remember it all the time and be depressed all day, its more about making the best decisions around this assumption that I may die at any time.

#15 Edited by TyCobb (1966 posts) -

As I am currently in the middle of a health scare, I realize that there are things that should be done and should have been done a while ago. If you have a spouse, make sure to have a life insurance policy. That is really the number 1 thing to make sure you have before complications occur. My only saving grace in this matter is that we have zero debt and a decent amount in savings to fully cover any of the costs that would occur if I were to pass. If everything turns out for the best, then the first thing I do is try and get a decent life insurance policy.

If it does turn out that I will die, then I guess I get to plan my own funeral and try to take the most burden off my wife and be as cheap as possible so that she is left with the most amount of money. I have been thinking about this stuff for the past 5 days and have even thought about scenarios where I could possibly live if I do some sort of treatment, but also die. Perhaps the treatment has a slim survival chance. If that is the case then maybe it would be best if I do nothing at all. The last thing I want is to accrue a massive medical bill that will end up on my wife's lap because I did treatments and still died. Nothing else matters except for your spouse and kids. She is the only person I have actually worried about; even more than me actually dying. Never once have I thought about other relationships, what kind of footprint I left on this world, or what I have achieved at life.

Actually planning or really thinking about your own death sucks and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. I don't actually know if there are any actual complications yet. Currently it is just a scare and so I have just been pondering things for almost a week although still worried while doing it. I was already going gray, but I am sure I just accelerated the process. lol

#16 Posted by Demoskinos (14779 posts) -

I've always said if I reach 50 Ill be grateful enough with that. I dont really think you can prepare. I'd probably just do what I did back when I was a kid and my mom had a spoonful of nasty cough syrup that I didn't want to take. Just do it without thinking. The more you give yourself time to think the more you psyche yourself out.

#17 Posted by Korolev (1704 posts) -

I don't think I can be prepared for death - I can pretend to be calm, but I'm pretty sure I'll be very scared. I suppose I'd try to take it one day at a time, try not to think about it. I accept that death is inevitable, but I wish to prolong life as much as possible, because there is so much in this world to see and learn and do.

#18 Posted by Hailinel (24431 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

I like to think it's been a while since I've accepted death as an inevitable conclusion to life and that fearing inevitability is somewhat pointless. This could obviously change once I actually have to face it myself, but it's not something that I'm preoccupied by.

It's not the inevitability I fear so much as the uncertainty of what comes after. Some people might say that doesn't really matter, but it's something that I dread thinking about.

What frightens me more than that though is that both of my maternal grandparents had Alzeimer's, and I fear that its hereditary nature may be my fate. To die is one thing, but to suffer for an unknown time with a broken memory, unable to take care of myself in my waning years before I die, and potentially not even know who I am on my death bed, or be able to recall the people I've known or the things I've done? I dread the very thought of that. I don't want to die as a mere shell of myself.

Despite this, I still have plenty of good years left before that becomes a serious risk (assuming something else doesn't kill me before that can happen). I'm really not sure how I'll be able to prepare for my end.

#19 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

eat something before that i liked a lot. see family before that.

#20 Posted by Isaiah (174 posts) -

Screw, smoke and drink

#21 Posted by Godlyawesomeguy (6398 posts) -

I'm still coming to the realization that this great big crazy world full of complications, gray areas, friends, lovers, family, entertainment, education, etc. will all become meaningless to me at some point and everything and everyone will be gone from my life. I'm 17, give me some time.

#22 Edited by egg (1456 posts) -

I would take up drinking. Drunkness topples fear!

#23 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

My own death, who gives a shit. But you can never prepare yourself for someone else dying. Which is why death sucks donkey dick.

#24 Posted by FiestaUnicorn (1577 posts) -

Why are people here excited about making it to 50. Fifty isn't old.

#25 Posted by Sbaitso (532 posts) -

I would buy all the synthesizers I never owned, lock myself in a room, and die happy.

#26 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

I would do my best to pay off my debts, because I don't want my family to inherit that shit. I really don't know how else I would do, my fear of death would be too overwhelming for me to do what I really want.

@Xeiphyer said:

Play Dark Souls

Well played.

#27 Posted by Soapy86 (2620 posts) -

I've spent more than my fair share of time in hospitals and nursing homes, around elderly, sick, and dying people. The affect thos has had on me is that I have absolutely no intention of going out like that. When I become so old that I fear I can no longer take care of myself, I'm going to die in a time, place, and manner of my choosing.

#28 Posted by ajamafalous (11964 posts) -
@FiestaUnicorn said:

Why are people here excited about making it to 50. Fifty isn't old.

It's more than old enough to die of natural causes. I have several relatives that died in their 50s due to heart failure, cancer, etc. For the most part, you have some say in whether you make it to 50; after that, you're playing with the cards you were dealt.
#29 Posted by Geralt (318 posts) -

Making a will, light a cigarette (I miss it so much) and ridicilously expensive alcohol of some kind.

#30 Posted by Giantstalker (1638 posts) -

@FiestaUnicorn said:

Why are people here excited about making it to 50. Fifty isn't old.

It will be in the post-apocalyptic nightmare of WW3.

If the uncontrolled bio-engineered pandemics don't get ya, rest assured that invading forces from the Chinese Hegemony probably will.

And don't even get me started on the rogue murderbots.

#31 Posted by IzzyGraze (850 posts) -

Depends where I am in my life but I'd probably say goodbye to my friends and family. Then I would try all the drugs, starting with heroin and working my why down until I was dead. If I didn't die from the drugs then I'm not sure. Travel? Sky dive/bungee, paraglide.

#32 Posted by TruthTellah (8851 posts) -

From my own experience, spending time with severely ill and disabled children makes a difference. When you spend time with children that you know won't be living to anywhere near the age you are, it gives a wider perspective on the life that you've led. My little brother was born with a limited life expectancy, and I know with decent certainty that he probably won't make it to my current age. With that being said, I have to be happy with the life I have led. It doesn't make death any more pleasant, but to me, it makes death an inevitability that I don't quite fear, as my life has already gone on so long.

I have faced some serious medical issues in the last few years, as well, and while I have had to fight to rebuild my life and make a path forward, it doesn't change that I knew death was a possibility. I am happy with the man I am today, and while my hope is to have many years ahead of me, that isn't a guarantee. And that's alright. I am glad I'm alive right now, and I appreciate whatever extra moments are ahead.

#33 Posted by Funrush (70 posts) -

Pray, and contact everybody I know and tell them what I think of them.

#34 Edited by JacDG (2121 posts) -
@Godlyawesomeguy said:

I'm still coming to the realization that this great big crazy world full of complications, gray areas, friends, lovers, family, entertainment, education, etc. will all become meaningless to me at some point and everything and everyone will be gone from my life. I'm 17, give me some time.

I'm a few years older than you, and I've recently been hit with this, it's a frightening realization (or, at least it has been for me), and I spend most of the summer thinking about it, every day, even when I went on holiday with my family to France (which was still an amazing time), lately I haven't been thinking too much about it since I've been busy with school and having an amazing time, but it still pops into my mind every so often and it completely takes away every single bit of motivation from me (nihilism is the awful feeling I think). I love everything about life, even being sad and miserable is "great" from time to time. 
 
I guess, my way of preparing for death would be to come to terms with it, that there is a large possibility that everything will just be gone, and I'll never experience anything ever again. Hopefully some woman will have been stupid enough to fall in love with me by then, I'd have had a few kids and given them the best possible childhood, if that happens I think I'd be able to leave this world feeling that I accomplished something, which is probably want I'd want. And then again, while I'm not religious or spiritual, I think life itself is so magical that I won't rule out an afterlife of some sort, I know I'll continue to exist in some shape or form (atoms and shit) but whether we are aware is another thing.
#35 Posted by Hamz (6846 posts) -

I assume by 96 she's had the pleasure of watching her children, grandchildren and dare I say great grandchildren grow up. She's been witness to some of the worlds most spectacular events and seen more and done more than many of us can hope to achieve. If I were you or your friends family I'd remind her that she has lived a long and fruitful life and should the end come then she should be proud of what she has achieved and experienced through it.

Everyone is scared of dying because we spend our entire life avoiding it. It's why we look both ways when crossing the road without thinking twice about doing so. You can't expect someone of her age to want to willingly accept the inevitable end of her life. All you can hope for her to do is not waste the time she has left worrying about dying but instead spend that time making the most out of life.

Don't let her accident turn her into a victim of her own fear of death but rather make her appreciate what she has to live for instead. You may think that at 96 she should accept the possibility of her own death but put yourself in her shoes, she's lived such a long life that she enjoys that it's natural she doesn't want it to end and fears the idea of it doing so. And who can blame her?

I sure as hell don't want to die and the very thought of having to accept that inevitable part of life is very difficult for most people.

#36 Posted by Flawed_System (388 posts) -

Get a priest.

You can't be afraid of death.

#37 Posted by living4theday258 (679 posts) -

I would continue life as if nothing was wrong it will end when it ends i cant change that, so why worry about it.

#38 Posted by Synaptic (310 posts) -

@iam3green said:

eat something before that i liked a lot. see family before that.

good choices. i'd probably chat with my best friends as well

#39 Posted by Pezen (1596 posts) -

I just realized the other day that I've accepted the notion of there being nothing after death so much that when I think about what it must be to die, I blow my own mind. It's crazy, try to envision nothing for eternity. That made me realize that if I keep this up, by the time I'm an elderly man, I'll probably have a death panic that'll eventually kill me.

#40 Posted by aznjon12 (188 posts) -

A last supper, raining money and a final will.

#41 Posted by CaLe (3964 posts) -

Becoming depressed is a good way to prepare to die. Not that that is an option or anything. I dunno. I don't want to even contemplate the finality of death.

#42 Posted by DoctorDanger99 (686 posts) -

wise man once said,"I want to leave this world the same way i came into it.Screaming and covered in somone elses blood."

#43 Posted by wjb (1658 posts) -

I was actually thinking about this last night.

I feel once I'm past 70, I'll be ready. I think it's natural because at that point, I will hopefully have accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. Once grandkids come, it's cruise-control after that.

I'm not afraid of death, just going out at a young age.

#44 Edited by crusader8463 (14421 posts) -

There's only one person in my life I would like to say bye too and make sure they knew that I cared about them, but outside of that I would just keep living my life like I would any other day. When I die I just want to be cremated and tossed somewhere. Preferably into space to burn up in some planets atmosphere, but just dumped into the ocean is more realistic.

If I knew the exact day and hour I would like to eat a favourite meal and die talking to the above friend. That's about it. Once I die that's the end and the hunk of rotting meat left behind is just that. So if parts of me can go to help science I would want it taken, but the rest can be disposed of in whatever the cheapest way possible is.

#45 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@SexyToad said:

I don't know. I'm far from being old enough to die naturally but I've thought about this before. I would think I would hate it. No one wants to die, right? I wouldn't want to just wait till its my time.

It's hard for the young to imagine the unimaginable, but the day draws ever closer, on which you will feel the weight of your years weigh heavily on your shoulders - and you will no longer wear them with the ease of your youth. Death is a gift - just hope that you are able to realize it, before life's final betrayal is upon you.

#46 Posted by captain_clayman (3320 posts) -

Honestly there's a million things I could say I wanted to do once I knew I was going to die, but by the time I do it'll most likely be too late. It's not often that you know well in advance that you're gonna die, unless you have terminal cancer and that's no fun.

#47 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

walk around the mall naked

#48 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

I got $400,000 life insurance in my name, my salary given to my kids until they are 18, all left over military benefits, etc. I'm content and not scared in the slightest.

#49 Posted by AbsolutHysteria (41 posts) -

Probably have a nice whiskey, next to a beach wondering about a life after death. Think about what I've done, and the people I've interacting with.

#50 Posted by Phatmac (5725 posts) -

You should all fear death. If you take life for granted than you're wasting it. Fear death and live life to its fullest.