On the Fear of Death, Dying, & Drowning

close up photography of concrete tombstones

“Death is as natural as life. It’s part of the deal we made.”

– Mitch Albom

It’s a subject as old as time, and a personal dilemma everyone experiences at some point in their lives: the fear of death and dying.

It would almost be negligent to let on that I’ve never fixated on the thought of dying and, of course, what’s to come after.

I’m not of the belief in a “Christian God” or a “White Jesus”…but on the same token I’m terrified of going to hell. It doesn’t make any sense, I know. But it’s true.

I’m not scared to die, though. I think I’d die for anybody. I would just want it to be quick, painless (who wouldn’t, right?). Don’t get me wrong. I in no way want to die, but you have to accept dying as a part of life or you’ll get too hung up on it, and that can be dangerous.

I get hung up on a specific fear of dying: drowning. I’m outright terrified of water…yet it never stops me from getting in; I’ve been in pools, ponds, lakes, and two oceans. But the entire time I am I’m in a state of anxiety and fear like no other. I hate water. I’d rather burn alive than spend my last moments in that type of fear accompanied with drowning.

The fear of drowning is called aquaphobia. In fact, aquaphobia is the irrational fear of drowning. I would say, partly because of my “condition”, most of my fears are totally irrational. For instance, I have to have the volume on the TV on an even number. I know it’s insane, but it’s a true fear. I honestly believe your shooting dice with the Devil if you have your TV volume on an odd number. I’m as neurotic as they come.

Fears can either teach or they can torture. They say you have to “face your fears” to conquer them. Most people try to avoid them completely so as to not have to even bother with the thought of it. I mean, how can the fear of death and dying be conquered? At best, it can only be accepted.

The fear of the possibility. That is a true fear I suffer from, and it can be debilitating. The anxiety that comes with just the possibility of something bad is phenomenal, except not in a good way.

The fear of death and dying is definitely a rational fear. It’s the fear of the unknown. The fear of what you have to leave behind. It’s rational, I just “handle” it irrationally.

I’ve decided to avoid the time spent on thinking about death by just never dying. I never want to die so that’s the plan. It may be irrational, but whatever gets me through the night, right?

But am I scared of dying? I don’t WANT to die, of course. but it is a part of life. And I have accepted that.

I agree the idea of not dying may not be a good plan, but it’s all I got (If I didn’t laugh all I would do is cry). We’re all going to die. And I’d like to believe we just drift off into the stratosphere, but as a nihilist, I honestly believe that after we die it’s all just black, an eternal void.

If I’m wrong, I just hope that when I die I make it to hell before the Devil knows I’m dead.

It’s a subject as old as time, and a personal dilemma everyone experiences at some point in their lives: the fear of death and dying.


  1. Not too many years ago, I planned on never dying. At fifty-three I was in awesome shape with no reason to think it wouldn’t last. Six years later, the decline is obvious. I’d say I’m in excellent shape now… for a fifty nine year old, but I can tell I don’t want to live forever any more. And seeing my dad limp around at 90 hurts just to watch. My primary fear of dying is the thought that it would let others down.

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