Why do we fear death?  

Death is a natural phenomenon. Yet we fear it because it has a sense of finality to it: no more eating, breathing, walking and talking when one is dead. What happens next? We lose all the things we are familiar with in this life to go somewhere unknown, and hence the fear.

This fear of death has two aspects to it: one is the dying aspect, where we associate death with a lot of pain and illness; and the other is the fear of what lies beyond death … the unknown.

We have all heard about heaven and hell, and about karma. There are so many conflicting stories about what happens after death, and since nobody has come back after dying, we do not know what happens thereafter. Thus, it is actually the fear of the unknown that troubles us.

For some people, physical pain is such a big thing that they would rather take morphine and not be conscious about what is happening when they pass on. When we see something drastic happening, it is a natural instinct to close our eyes. It is our conscious mind telling us that we don’t want to witness a horrible incident. It is very much in our nature to not want to be conscious of unpleasant things, and death is one of them. So if someone can take a lot of morphine and not know when they are passing on, that’s wonderful!

But there are some people who want to know when they are passing on; yet they are afraid. We basically need something or someone to help us over the threshold, because that is where we are all alone. Our friends can be with us till that last moment, but we go across all by ourselves. That is why some people need the concept of religion and God to help them cross over.

The best thing to do is to ‘just be’ and allow the Universe to guide us, in life as in death.