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Is It Rational to Fear Death? September 24, 2019

Is it rational to fear death?

The Greek philosopher Epicurus said “Death does not concern us, because as long as we exist, death is not here. And when it does come, we no longer exist.” That may have been easy for Epicurus to say for he, after all, only believed things existed in the material world and that no souls exist. His point of view, for some, would be considered completely rational. Is being rational, however, when facing death at odds with what some would consider being a completely natural, emotional response?

What about for those who, unlike Epicurus, believe in an afterlife?

Few would argue that there are events tied to many deaths worth fearing. There may be pain, disease, disability, and suffering. There may be a fear of leaving others behind or moving forward alone.

Religion is one way to combat the fear of death. It often promises a better afterlife, one without pain or suffering or one without fear itself. On the other hand, it can fuel fears of an afterlife of eternal condemnation. The reality is a fear of death is somewhat different for each of us, largely based on our beliefs and experiences throughout life.

The fear of death is like driving on a two-lane road at highway speeds. There may only be a painted line separating us from oncoming traffic. If we travel in constant fear, we may not travel at all. If we live life in fear of death, we may not live life to its fullest.

Is the fear of death natural? Probably. Is it understandable? Certainly. But is it rational? Probably only when kept in proper perspective. If you or someone you know has an overwhelming fear of death, help should be sought through a psychologist or through a support group. These resources may help develop a better understanding of the underlying causes of the fear, and what can be done to better manage it.

Some can find solace in pre-planning their own final services. This gives them a sense of control over what will happen upon their death and helps assure them their wishes will be carried out. It allows a person to help control the expenses related to their funeral. It lets them make the choice between a standard funeral and burial and cremation. It also helps take the burden of making those decisions off of a family. If you would like to discuss the benefits of pre-planning final services, we invite you to contact the caring, experienced and professional staff at Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes.

At Fares J. Radel Funeral homes, we have had the honor of serving families throughout Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky for generations. We have been there to assist them through sudden tragedies and after lengthy illnesses. We have been there to comfort families who have lost young children and those who have mourned the passing of great-great-grandfathers. In your time of need, we would be honored to assist you. Please feel free to contact us anytime.

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