Fear of Death
"I understand perfectly how busy you are and how many questions you receive, but I simply don't know who else can help me and keep praying that you answer my e-mail.
"Here is my story. My name is Olga. We are from Ukraine and now living in Toronto. Just a few months ago I was the happiest person in the world, surrounded by love, my second marriage is a gift. I have two kids; my baby daughter is almost five months old.
"Suddenly it all changed and collapsed. And I did it myself. A couple of months ago I was playing with my daughter, when I first had a freezing thought: 'Oh, sooner or later we are all going to die. Myself, my husband, my kids....' And I became terrified. Since then I've totally changed. I'm in a constant state of panic. My husband thinks I am going crazy. I have to say that I've never been into spirituality, religion, etc. As the result of that, I began looking for all possible information about afterlife and so on (that's how I discovered you and your amazing research). I read everything I could and became in some ways relieved (maybe survival is real), but even more confused and terrified. I read about very negative NDEs, e.g. one woman saw an evil being literally trying to get her soul out of her. What do you think of this? Can it really be so that at death we'll be harmed, destroyed, or possessed by some evil forces? How to protect ourselves?
"Another question is that I don't know how to live now - when I became obsessed with death. I totally changed; it's like I am another person. I stopped being interested in things like clothes, cars, sex, redecorating my new house, etc. Everything I liked doing doesn't make any sense anymore. At first I thought it to be the postpartum depression, but now I am sure it is not. I look at everybody enjoying their life like from a distance. I don't understand why I changed. I miss the old Olga with all her love, optimism, no fears. But I am not the same person anymore. I am constantly thinking about death with fear and curiosity. I know that I do not want to become a sparkle of light somewhere. I want to be with my husband forever. I want my old life back and don't know what to do. I don't know how to live constantly thinking that we are all going to die and never be together anymore. At the age of 36 I became a zombie. Life became torture.
"I am really crying for help. Thank you very much for your time and understanding. I hope to hear from you."...Olga
Fear can do terrible things to us when we invite it in. We cannot always know the reasons behind what happens in our lives, but we can take whatever happens and use it to benefit us. We're in charge of our minds, our bodies, our lives. No one else is.
Everything in life, everything, has both a positive and a negative polarity. This is necessary for the creation of stress. Without a certain percentage of stress in existence, there would be no earth, no universe, no life, nothing. The gift of stress is tension. It is that tension that enables light to become dense, dense enough for matter to form. We exist in a world of matter, have a "stage" on which to act out our many parts, because of the tension between stress points: positive/negative. That necessary balance can tip in favor of one polarity over another: too much of the positive can make us lazy, too much of the negative can numb us. Balance is the secret in all things. The great masters of old said this. It is still true.
Right now your life is out of balance to the negative. That's because you have discovered a truth you did not accept nor pay any attention to before. This discovery can be a great gift or a great curse - your choice.
Death is not a negative. We just think it is. Without death, this planet would be in a terrible mess. Death keeps everything recycled, including people. Death "hurts" in the sense that it interupts life; it changes our sense and image of life, ours and everyone else's. But if we understand death and how necessary death is, we come to develop a more realistic and easy relationship with death, with the comings and goings of life, with cycles, with the very pulse of nature and all that is good and holy. You cannot live, really live, until you accept death. Love cannot continue, cannot give us depth and true meaning, cannot have value that is long-lasting and true, if death has failed to convey the contrast between what we think is love and what really is love. This is what the near-death experience teaches so dramatically: 99% of experiencers come back with no fear of death, for they know that death ends nothing but the body we wear. Regarless of whether they had a hellish experience or a heavenly one, they come back with this realization. We are talking about millions upon millions of people here.
An interesting counter-point to the sudden fear of death, to the point that the fear of it disrupts an individual's life (at it has with you), almost invariably, this is a sign (probably from the soul level) that it is time for you to take spiritual studies seriously. It is time for you to begin your spiritual journey, the inner journey, to the heart of what exists within you, the truth of life and death. I would suggest that you begin in a class, perhaps a class in meditation or contemplation, or recognizing the sacred in nature. Walk a labyrinth, plant a garden, volunteer somewhere, pray. You might find that the more metaphysical churches will appeal to you: Unity Church, Church of Religious Science. Google "Science of Mind" magazine. Subscribe to that magazine and start reading it every day. Find yourself some inspiring books to read or other kinds of classes to attend.
There are no guarantees in life - none. We have no way of knowing how long anyone will live or even if our house will stand or our job continue. So, how do you live a life without guarantees? With gusto. Seize the day, each day, and live it to the hilt. Put as much love and joy into each minute as you can - even if those moments are awful, sad, painful, tearful, terrible. Every part of life is good, and that includes the non-so-good. I can say this because I have been dead three times in three months, in 1977. I lost everything, yet what I found was better than anything I had or knew before. You might read my story someday. A brief version is on my website and in Chapter Two of my book "Coming Back to Life" (Transpersonal Publishing, Kill Devil Hills, NC 2008).
A particular litany helped me very much during those frightful times when I was trying to rebuild my life after losing it. The litany is from the science fiction book, "Dune" by Frank Herbert. Although the way I memorized the litany is not what is in the book, here is the Litany of Fear as I memorized it. Why I differed from the original I do not know.
It is the little death.
I will face my fear.
It will pass over me, around me, and through me.
And when it is gone.....I will remain.
I used to chant this litany for hours. The litany and the phrase "God is" are what kept me sane. I never gave up. I learned to allow, not force - allow. I allowed God to spread throughout every cell in my body. I allowed my breath to become God's Breath. I allowed my heart to beat in rhythm with the pulse of life and that which heals and helps and affirms Truth. I now consider my deaths to be the most wondrous gift I could ever have been given. In death, I found true life. No, I have yet to recover from the financial setback that followed (if you think writing books makes you much money, think again). Yes, in trusting the Truth of Life, I have learned how to access the source of wealth that exists beyond the physical.
Perhaps this new fear you have is a gift your soul is giving you, so you will be motivated to look beyond the veil and explore the rest of life. The more you look, the more cetainly you will discover what lies within the greatest of mysteries - that life itself is eternal. Many blessings, PMH
This blog is not meant to be a major or complete source of findings about near-death research - my own or that of others. Its purpose is to serve the public at large through a question/answer format, in exploring the phenomenon of near-death and related issues. Lately I have been criticized for not carrying a more in-depth rendering of research observations and data - not only on this blog - but throughout my website (www.pmhatwater.com). I invite anyone who wishes this type of information to read my various books, especially "The Big Book of Near-Death Experiences," as it contains the largest, broadest, most up-to-date rendering of the subject anywhere to be found.
I have also been criticized for having a section in my website on Goddess Runes and anything to do with things psychic. I make no apologies for this. Discovering and learning to use this ancient form of rune casting the year after my three near-death experiences, is what enabled me to retrain the way my brain worked and become more whole-brained. I highly recommend this particular divinatory system, especially for tweens with learning disabilities, older children who are spatial/visual learners, and for anyone at any age wishing to enjoy the wonder and fun of exploring things sacred and spiritual. Yes, I do give readings. This enables me to serve in a more personal and intimate manner. I am also a Prayer Chaplain. Both endeavors continue the spiritual commitment I have to put God first in my life.
Thank you, PMH