Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Sincere Plea

Okay guys, I'm reaching out to you.
I know many of you are spiritual in some way.

I have had an overwhelming fear of death for about a year.
It went away for 7 months, but recently (with everything involving my grandmother), it has resurfaced.
My fear is that of the afterlife. What happens to me after I die? Where do I go? Do I just stop existing? That is my BIGGEST fear. Non-existence.

It consumes my head, especially at night. Sometimes I am reduced to having panic attacks.
Then I have to pull out my sleeping pill/anti-depressant and pray to God that I can get to sleep.

I don't exactly know what I'm asking of you. Stories to help squelch my fears. Some sort of re-assurance. Someone that understands my fear, and knows how I can at least calm it.

I know that it is something that will probably not go away for a long time, if ever. My mom has told me that my young mind can't understand it yet, because I haven't experienced life.
I get that, and I know it's true. But it doesn't stop me from thinking about it.

My mind goes into the morbid, which I won't go into here. But I lay there in bed thinking "one day this body will be empty". And then I start hyper-ventilating, and then crying, sometimes shaking in the fetal position.

It makes me feel weak, it makes me feel embarrassed. I'm almost ashamed to write about it here, and I'm also nervous about the response I'll receive. I don't want to scare people away. I promise I'm usually more chipper, at least in my posts. But all of you seem to have such firm roots in your religion, no matter what religion you may be.
You are the people I knew I should turn to.

So can you help?

For the record, this post was meant for Friday. I accidentally hit "Publish Post" in my tired, anxious stupor.


Sarah said...

I am spiritual, not religious. I firmly believe in reincarnation. I believe in three levels of life: hell, purgatory, and heaven. Personally I believe I am Purgatory right now. I say this because my life isn't horrible (like Hell) but it's not perfect (like Heaven). I feel like if I do well in this life I will graduate to the Heaven style life. If I fail in this life I will either start over and try to do better or go back to the Hell style life and have to work my way up. I do think our bodies rot after death, it's been proven pretty much that they do, but our souls and spirits DO NOT die...just go on to better lives, or worse lives depending on how we do in THIS life.

Kristina P. said...

This is my two cents, and it's strictly from a religious viewpoint, not a social worker one.

Do you have a belief in a higher power? Studying spirituality and finding a belief that makes sense to you can really help you have peace in regards to what happens after we die.

In the LDS church, we believe that this life is a mere stepping stone. Death still scares the crap out of me, but there is a lot of comfort in having a knowledge of what will happen to us after we die.

I really think there have to be more options for your insurance and counseling. I would call again. I looked online yesterday to see if there was the same kind of center in Vegas, as the one I work in, that provides free counseling to teenagers, and I couldn't find anything. Be persistent!

Wendyburd1 said...

Oh Lee, I am so sorry you are scared. In my religion, and ladies who share my Mormonism, as a lot of you do, please add on, we believe there is an afterlife. When you cease being here "in a blink of an eye" you will be in Heaven and you will be with your loved ones who have passed before you. You will be with Jesus and Heavenly Father. There is Judgement, but I highly doubt, you being you, that you will have done anything unforgiveable. I repent if I feel I have done something wrong and I know he forgives me.

So we live forever in a place that is so perfect we can't even imagine what it is like. If you didn't get to marry or have kids on Earth, you have a chance to in the afterlife. And you will remember everything from before you were born on Earth. You will remember the pre-existence. I worry I might die painfully, but I don't think I worry about dying. Because there are so many people I want to see again, that I look forward to the day I can be in their arms again.

Okay very personal story...I hope it helps in some way. When my Grandpa got very sick and they talked about amputating his leg, this destroyed my Grandpa. He was a very proud man, humble, but proud, and the thought of not being whole was killing him. He really hadn't been doing great since my Grandma died, and this thought was destroying the last bit of him. My Dad went to his parents house for something and saw the poem "Footprints" on the wall. All of a sudden, he fell to his knees and prayed that if it was God's will, then they should take his Dad now, while he was still whole in the ways that mattered to him. My Dad loved his Dad, but could see that he was being emotionally destroyed. He was losing his hope and the really important things he had been holding onto. And I think he hung on as long as he did...for us. Because we loved him and needed him.So he prayed that if it was the father's wish and if it was my Grandpa's time and he was ready, to let him go.
He died peacefully the next day. Is this story making the sense I hoped it would? Death brought him peace. He is now with the love of his life, who he needs to be with. He is waiting for us, so we can be reunited. Praying for his death wasn't to be cruel, my father was devastated losing him, it was mercy. To alleviate the stress and desolation my Grandfather was in. It was time for him to stop being the giving one, because he gave us many years, years he needed his wife. And it was his turn to be given to. Given our thanks and blessings that he was in our lives and it was okay to let go now and be with his other loved ones.

Don't be afraid of death Lee. It is just the beginning. Here is the Footprints poem in case you don't know it. It means a lot to me, as you should understand now.

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed He was walking along the beach with the LORD. Across the sky flashed scenes from His life. For each scene He noticed two sets of footprints in the sand. One belonging to Him and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of His life flashed before Him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that many times along the path of His life there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of His life.

This really bothered Him and He questioned the LORD about it. LORD you said that once I decided to follow you, you'd walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life there is only one set of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed you most you would leave me.

The LORD replied, my precious, precious child, I Love you and I would never leave you! During your times of trial and suffering when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.

Sheri said...

I'm also spiritual but not really very religious. I'm not sure what I'd consider myself. I was raised Catholic though.

I believe in an afterlife. A sort of "otherside" or "heaven." I also believe in reincarnation. As you know, I'm a paranormal investigator and I've had many experiences with the "otherside." If you want to know more personal things than I've posted, just ask. I can't/don't want to publish everything. :P

Having some fear of death is normal I'd think. Especially since, as your mom said, you are young still.

Are you still seeing your counselor? If so, talk to them about the anxiety issue too. Did you switch to medication that is helping you for that and not making you all insomniac and nauseous? I hope so :)

::big hug!::

Anonymous said...

Lately I've been having some morbid thoughts. More along the lines of, 'I should plan my funeral'. Yes, weird, I know. And I've been realizing, death is inevitable, but to be okay with that is the key. I'm not scared of dying. I feel like I'm living my life the best way I can so I should have no regrets. I don't know what happens when we die. I'd like to hope we move on. I'd like to hope that I'll see my babies in Heaven and be able to hold them and hug them and love them forever.

I guess I didn't help....

Anonymous said...

your skin looks great btw!

I've only gotten this feeling once or twice. I don't know much about it. It scared me when I started thinking about it. Feeling like I may die soon and not accomplish all that I want to. It's wierd...
Just keep it in your head that you won't die anytime soon. no way no how.

Erin said...

When I was seven years old I watched a show that completely freaked me out about death for the next two years. I was obsessed and terrified. I finally came to a personal understanding at some point that there is an afterlife, and that my time on earth will be long and blessed. After that, I was okay. Besides that, I don't have any suggestions, except maybe to pray. I wish you the best!

Oh, and visiting teaching is cool - it's a program in my church where each person is assigned two women in their congregation to watch out for, call, visit, and help if needed. It's cool because anytime you move anywhere in the world, it's like you have automatic friends. That's why I felt bad that I basically ignored the people I visit teach last month, and then found out that they had major life issues that I wasn't there for. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

I like to believe that the energy that is your life now will be recycled into another living thing when you pass one, kind of like reincarnation. I like to think that since energy can never be destroyed life can never truly be detroyed, just moved around a bit. I'm not sure if that's reassuring at all...

Ady said...

I think your fear is not of the afterlife but your goals that would remain undone if you die before what you perceive is the right time...

In the Hindu mythology, there are a few strong beliefs...
One, we are all souls, the body is a dispensable cloth, which dies its normal life, but the soul survives every time.
Two, the soul has a memory and a relation to everyone and everything it interacts with. So if in your previous life, you have kept promises or you owe something to someone, you would reincarnate till your past debts are over. The same applies to the vice-versa. So donations in a way keep you tied to the human incarnation, because till the person you gave charity to does not payback, both your souls are tied to each other.
Three, we all have characteristics which decide what form we shall take in the next life. For example, if you are extremely loyal, you might become a dog in the next life and so on and so forth. A dog, just by example, not actually…:-P
Four, if you wish to break free from this cycle, you need to be spiritually inclined. The belief may be religious or simply spiritual, that depends on how you approach it.
There are a lot of other things too that decide so many things, but then, you would need to discuss things out. Also, everyone and everything has a time to die. Final Destination, for instance, is pretty real. If you skip death once, because of some good deed that you have done, you can only stay safe till the effect of that good deed or a positive soul guarding you stays.
The passenger, the only one who survived the Air France crash, died 15 days later in a car accident.
Am not trying to scare you, but I guess a deeper understanding of these links might just help you a lot.
Take care !! God Bless ya !!

Lucy said...

For immediate relief take your mind off of it. Listen to your iPod,watch comedy,read.
Second, after you have slept start researching it. Both death and spirituality. Read different spiritual books, maybe even attend different religious services. You will need to find your own comfort with this very hard topic but you have started off right by reaching out and already researching how others handle it!
Good Luck

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