Fear of death, etc


Hey all

So lately (as in like over the past… 4-5 months, ish) I’ve had this horrible overblown fear of death. Like “I don’t want to get in the car incase it crashes and I die” type of fear/anxiety. I’m also paranoid of illnesses and whatnot. The day I finally got the meningitis shot was one of the most revealing days of my life, as weird as it sounds.

Now I’m going away to college next year so I figured I should probably do something about this irrational fear before then… I don’t want to spend the first few months at college afraid of going out and doing stuff because I think I am going to die. I’m hoping to get on the colleges service team, but I’m a little concerned about going out into the inner city where they do some work and whatnot. I also have the opportunity to go to Italy this summer, but I’m thinking of turning it down because going to Italy to spend my entire time afraid of something horrible happening does not sound like a fun experience.

This fear/anxiety is pretty new to me. In the past I have had no problem going on mission trips, heading to New Orleans despite the high crime rate, working outside NYC, etc. I used to barely give thought to all the “what if’s” in life.

I guess I want to be to the point where I can turn on the news, hear about the 100+ people dying from this swine flu, and accept the reality of it and the reality that nothing can happen without the permissive will of the Father. I don’t want to feel sick when I remember the Columbine shootings. And I don’t want to be afraid at the thought of going on an international mission/learning tripe, like is required at the college I will be attending. I want to get beyond the fear, so I can live life to it’s fullest & reach out and do something about the pain in our world.

I guess my question to you all is, how should I go about doing this? How do I get beyond the fear of death into an acceptance of reality and the assurance that better things to come?



I used to be fearful of death also. Then I read a good book, “90 Minutes in Heaven” written by Don Piper. I highly recommend it. Don actually died and spent 90 minutes in heaven. In his book, he describes what he experiences in heaven. :thumbsup:

Also, I don’t know if you already do now, but if you don’t. Start wearing a scapular! The Lady (Mary) promises who ever dies wearing the scapular will go straight to heaven and will not suffer eternity in the fires of hell. :eek:

The last thing I want to say. No one dies alone! When we die, we die with and in Jesus Christ. Heaven is more magnificent then our earth could ever be. In heaven we will have everlasting life. You should look forward to being received in heaven, and live in eternity with Our Heavenly Father.

I am too a college student. I am just finishing up my freshman year. I hope these were some helpful suggestions for you. If you have anymore questions don’t hesitate to post/email them to me!

God Bless you always I will pray for you!


:)Hi this is a huge topic.

So huge I don’t know what to say except: humor.

I like Woody Allen movies because he constantly makes fun of death and fear of death and dying. You know for some of us, its just a constant. Its like death is following us everywhere and he is like a stalker who won’t quit. Someone call the cops!:smiley: This guy won’t leave me alone.

Yeah, well thats life. I married someone with a great sense of humor and I strongly suggest you do the same (if marriage is your choice).

I think sense of humor is underrated. I think its possibly the most important quality to have in a spouse, except of course for their faith.



Hi raindr0ps :slight_smile:

Fear of death is not in and of itself abnormal. In virtually all living creatures, this manifests itself in some form of death avoidance, whether it’s the drive to seek out food and shelter, or to avoid predation. As logical and philosophical creatures, humans have taken these basic tendancies to another level; we are gifted with the capacity to contemplate our inevitable demise and to take precautions unprecedented in the animal kingdom. The science of medicine is a great example of the human drive to avoid and put off death for as long as possible.

However, understanding death and embracing it are two completely different things. Most people are changed forever by their first encounter with the death of another human being. Most come to acknowledge and accept loss, working in their own way through a complicated grief process. But in some people, the fear of death manifests in the extreme, such as the phobic notions which you’ve suggested in your post.

Again, it is natural to be afraid of our inevitable death. But if this fear is to the point where it is interfering with your life, then I highly recommend you speak with a priest who will either help you work through your death anxiety or refer you to a psychologist. I can’t think of a better resource for issues like these than a good priest, though. They spend their careers shepherding people through every stage of life, including death, and they know a few things about what happens beyond that threshold as well. :slight_smile:

I wish the best for you, and I’ll keep you in my prayers.


One of my favorite Woody Allen quotes: “I’m not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens”:smiley:

I was just reading this thread which might be of interest if you’re afraid of death:


hey all, thanks for your replies. Katie, I’ll have to check out that book!

I was going to start wearing a scapular awhile back, but I never came across a priest who could enroll me. Then I kinda forgot about it. I think I shall start searching, again.

I’m kinda hoping that this is tied in with the seasonal anxiety that I tend to get, and that it will just go away on it’s own.

I’ve also spend some time looking into natrual and supernatural proof’s for the existence of heaven. That’s helping a little =)


I’ve suffered from anxiety – about death, and in general – since I was about eight. I’ll be 42 in June. It’s been awhile. :slight_smile:

I second all the suggestions. (Although I don’t wear a scapular, but not because I don’t think it’s a good idea; I just don’t want to make a commitment I might not be able to keep properly.)

I did want to say that it might indeed be linked to the seasonal stuff, and that talking to your priest and/or a therapist is a great idea. Also, over time, it may lessen – mine did. I spent years where I would be nearly in tears on a daily basis, afraid of things, and now for instance I’m only concerned at a normal level about the swine flu issue. (Although I *am *washing my hands a lot more!) I still have my moments, but they are fewer.

But with these opportunities in front of you, you don’t want to wait til you’re my age to have things subside on their own. Missing Italy, and/or missing out on a great college experience, would be a shame. I will be praying for you!


G’day raindr0ps
Fear of death is something that I fought for many many years until I sat down with myself and tried to figure out why. It was during this time I discovered the great love that God has for me and of course eveyone else but at this stage I was only worried about myself. I worried that I would die in sin and be forever banished from God, but he touched me with his love and I came to see that He will always give me enough time to be reconciled to him. I came to realise that if I do my best to love him and follow his commands I would join him for eternity. I could not fly without being sedated until this time and I began to ask myself what was the worse thing that could happen to me if I flew and the plane crashed? in doing my best to love God he would honour me and if I died I would be with him so I figured that the worst thing that could happen would be that I arrived safely and have to spend more time here waiting to join him and also enjoying the time I spend here but knowing that the greatest enjoyment will be joined with him forever in heaven. God is great and his love for us never varies and his greatest pleasure is for us to be with him both in this life and the next. Cheers I hope this is of some help and I will pray for you to overcome this fear that is restricting your life. May God continue to bless you with abundent joy and peace in all circumstances geoff


First of all two things: What is it that scares you about death? Is it a) that you are young and are terribly afraid of dying too soon, or b) extreme fear of ending up in hell, or c) a combination of both. It would seem that knowing what the exact cause of this inordinate fear of death is would would allow us to straighten the answers more specifically to your situation?
God Bless, and Remember Christ’s words from Mathew 6: “Can any of you live a bit longer by worrying about it?” Let go the fear and let Christ take it. Fear can destroy life unnecessarily.


I think you’re more afraid of growing up and leaving home and going to college.

The transition to young adulthood and independence and being responsible for your own life is always scary. You’re not alone.

And I promise you, you’ll live through it and things will get better.
:thumbsup: :wink:


Any priest can enroll you in the scapular. If your pastor doesn’t know the formula, print it out for him and bring it along. You can find it here: freebrownscapular.com/brown_scapular_enrollment.html

Another thing to think about: death is a transition to a life that is hugely better than the life we experience here on earth. Here’s an analogy: Just imagine a baby in the womb being afraid to be born because she was afraid of the (perhaps painful) transition of birth. Just think what she’d be missing if she didn’t experience birth! Similarly, unless we experience death, which is our birth into everlasting life, we cannot experience eternal happiness with God.


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