How does one overcome a fear of death?

My 19-year-old daughter has recently shared with me that she is afraid of dying. Can you recommend some reading for her? I should warn you, however, that she dislikes reading – especially when I give her things to read! – probably as a result of her slight reading disability. Therefore, whatever I try to share with her will need to be very basic and simply written so she is not overwhelmed.

Given your daughter’s dislike for reading and the complicated nature of her fear (people can fear death for a variety of reasons, each of which would require a personalized approach), it is difficult for me as an outsider to make a reading recommendation specially geared toward her needs. Instead, I recommend suggesting that she talk with a priest or religious whose orthodoxy and pastoral manner you trust. If you need help with a recommendation, I suggest calling your diocese for a referral to a spiritual director.

If the fear is of such a nature that it requires the assistance of a mental health practitioner, I recommend contacting the Pastoral Solutions Institute or for a referral to a Catholic-friendly counselor in your area.

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