I’m a robust young man in the prime of my life, but I have a debilitating fear: death. Just the idea of ceasing to exist, or the visual image of my cold dead body decaying in the earth, sends me into a panic attack. I can’t breathe, and I get tunnel vision and feel like I’m going to pass out. This happens several times a day, whenever I think about dying. I don’t sleep well anymore, and I can’t eat. I’m afraid to leave the house because I might get struck by lightning or hit by a car, or I might catch a deadly disease from someone on the street. My fear of death is preventing me from enjoying my life. How can I stop being afraid?
Dear Ryan No-Dying,
Death is just about the stupidest thing you could fear. It’s like being afraid that the sun will rise or that a politician will lie – these things are definitely going to happen. So it is with death. Fearing the inevitable makes no sense whatsoever.
You’re going to die, dumbass! Get used to the idea. Don’t waste your life fretting over death. Your constant worrying is disrupting the flow of your life and actually bringing death upon you quicker. Do you see how ridiculous your situation is? You’re hastening the arrival of that which you fear!
Death is when you will meet with infinity, merge with eternity. You should be dedicating your life to preparing for that monumental encounter, rather than pissing and moaning about it like a little cry-baby-bitch.
How do you prepare for your devastating union with infinite eternity? Intentionally put yourself in precarious situations and find a way to survive. Force yourself to face death as often as possible, until you can do so without losing yourself to fear. Once you become comfortable confronting death, you may be able to glimpse the eternal infinity beyond and realize the peace that awaits you.
Here are some ideas on how to confront death: dress in an injured seal costume and dive into the polar bear habitat at your local zoo; put on a blindfold and cross a highway during rush hour; break into a meth lab with guns drawn posing as a rival dealer; run around an open field carrying an aluminum bat during a thunderstorm; or go into a biker bar wearing daisy dukes and a “Gay Pride” shirt and start flirting with the bikers.
I think you’ll find a double benefit from repeatedly confronting your own mortality. Not only will your fear of death greatly diminish, but your life will also become far more intense. You’ll develop a certain passion for life and for all things life-affirming. You’ll become so full to the brim with living that you won’t even have the time or the inclination to worry about death anymore. Enjoy it!
Peace, Love, and Confronting Mortality,