'If Heaven's so wonderful, why are we all so afraid of dying young?' - Welcome the Night, The Ataris

I had an idea for a story recently that got me thinking about death and the afterlife etc it didn't help that I'd just watch the Fountain, then I was listening to the Ataris new album and my brain went into thinky overdrive...

Fear of death is apparently the motivation for about a million things we do. According to some psychology paper I read ages ago being afraid of the dark as a child is a subconscious fear of death, this manifests whether the child is aware of death or not. Some people retain this fear all of their life while most are more able to cope as they mature.

There is a school of thought that states that all living things are born with the knowledge of their own mortality and its why the survival instinct and reproduction instincts are so strong.

Think about it, practically every basic thing we do is for survival, to eat, nest and reproduce. It seems very few animals in nature are the only other animals besides humans that do things purely for fun (primates, dolphins, cats and dogs are the only ones I can think of) . Everything else on the planet spends its time in this cycle of survival.

You might be wondering why I've put a photo of the Taj Mahal on this post, I saw it for the first time when I was 11 and have never forgotten it. What still strikes me is that something so beautiful is to nothing more then a tomb, but to others it is a testament to love that lasted beyond death.

So where am I going with all this? Well if we get to be one of the few creatures that can have fun and perceive life with all its wonders and disappointments then let us make the most of the time we have and live beyond surviving. We humans get so caught up in what stresses us out and our own issues that sometimes we forget to look at the bigger picture. Sometimes surviving isn't enough


  1. Morbid Monday
    Too much thinking required, I will do it later.
    Hope everyone has a nice day

  2. Great post~ Thanks for bringing that to our attention...I, for one, try not to let things bother me for the most part because I know it only affects me negatively, both mentally and physically.....sometimes we learn these things too late...

  3. Hi Shadow, enjoyed the anarchist/police comment - made me think, and that's great! Thanks!

  4. Your post is true and we should enjoy it to the full. Sometimes, I need reminding, though I can't really complain with my present lot!

    I really want to see the Taj Mahal in the flesh!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I almost died two years ago. I can't say that I fear death anymore. I have a healthy respect for it.

  7. I'd always wondered if animals were aware of their own mortality on a conscious level, and, if they were, how did they view it? When my cat was dying, he stopped eating and then started napping in weird places. The morning he died, though, he came and curled up on the bed with us, like he knew something he didn't like was happening and he wanted our reassurance. I've often wondered since then if he was afraid, and if so, if the fear came from what he was feeling physically, or if there was something more mental/spiritual going on with him.

    Humans like to believe we're the only beings consciously aware of our limited existence, but after that experience, I'm not so sure.

  8. Interesting thoughts and very readable post - you've hit the nail here! What you are focused on, you get more of you know and sometimes I think we are more afraid of dying than to live our life.

    Btw: Thanks for you visit and comments on my blog and your welcome to Norway any time:-)

  9. Well said. Morbid, but well said all the same.

  10. Great post! Two years ago before my surgery, I went to bed at total peace with dying should something happen. It's really made my approach to life much different since that night.

  11. Wait a min ...

    We have sex 'coz we're afraid of dying??


  12. I couldn't agree more; yet, surviving is everything when I'm at work.

  13. Fucking Ataris...they do it every time.

  14. God, I love the line from The Atari's song.

    I don't think this is a morbid post at all. Isn't it supposed to remind us that life is worth living and not just existing?

    The fact is we're all faced with death all too regularly. I was just approaching an intersection yesterday when a pretty bad car accident happened in front of me. I ended up calling it in and making a statement to the police. Fortunately no one was seriously injured, but it's scary anyway. My son was in the backseat and I would have freaked if someone had hit us.

    So while I plan for the future I still have to try to live for today. And though I hate to admit it, my time with my kids is finite, though I plan on hanging around for a good while yet.

  15. I really don't know what to say except that life is certainly too short and yes I do agree with you that most people are too caught up on what stresses them out.

    I've learnt to smile the roses Ms. Shadowfalcon :D

  16. Pssst.. you were in my dream last night!

  17. Humans are so silly, being afraid of death. We cats don't have to be afraid until we reached the 9th life. Of course I've been a bit reckless in my days and I'm already up to the 7th life. But I still have lots of time before I need to start fearing it.


  18. such an amazing post today!!! and beautiful picture! I too am afraid of death... even though no one can escape it.

  19. I've "died" twice, myself, and no, I didn't see anything on the proverbial other side. I can't say I fear death at all, however I do fear getting there, whether it be a painful or a very sick and weak way to go.

    I think it's very natural for humans in general to fear death, though, as you say - it's preserving oneself, one's offspring.

    I do have to wonder, though, is that something that's purely instinctual, or did it evolve along with the emotions our bodies still cannot handle?

  20. now that was a good post!

    Just live life and have fun doing so.

  21. Quality of life. I that there are two directions in which people should devote their energies: 1)making sure that they are appreciating as much as possible in the present. The here and the now. That they are looking upon their surroundings with the wonder of children. 2) That they are doing something to help someone else. Even if it is only to share their joy and sense of discovery.

  22. As a child I used to be "deathly" afraid of the dark. I forced myself to rationally get over it all.

  23. Your conclusion is so right. Too many people live their lifes without enjoying it when they have the possiblity.
    On the other hand:
    Sadly, there are millions of people that do not have the chance to enjoy life. They really struggle to survive. We can help them, if we want - with a.o Fairtrade.

  24. Fear of death is just another fear of the unknown, which is understandable.


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