When I was young, I feared death. Because I had no hope or faith in God. The older I get, the less I fear death because my hope has increased, as has my faith in God.
After JP2, I do not fear suffering because of death. Before he was ill, and even when he was dying, I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t get out of the public eye and pass away peacefully in private. But after he died, I came to understand he was showing us that suffering is necessary and useful, and a part of our humanity. And life is precious, no matter how young or old. Because of that I do not fear suffering before dying. And I have a lot better understanding and respect for older folks, especially those who are sick.
In the end, if I have lived properly I will get my reward and face God. why fear that?
In conjunction to that, a baptist friend who speaks of death and suffering as something to fear, quite a bit. I always tell her, it’s not something to fear, but something to embrace. She does not understand.