Experts weigh in on why some fear death, how to overcome it

By Ghadeer Ghloum

KUWAIT: The concept of death has captivated and perplexed individuals across cultures ever since humans existed. People’s attachment to life and cultural influence shape their perception and understanding of mortality, experts say. One of the primary reasons behind people’s fear of death is because it is rooted in the unknown nature of what lies beyond.

“I believe the topic of death carries a sense of mystery for man,” sociology expert Dalal Al-Balloul told Kuwait Times. Similarly, psychology expert Yosef Al-Hasany said: “An essential part of human nature is the search for safety and familiarity and the fear of the unknown or unfamiliar.  Death symbolizes the greatest unknown for humans.” Death represents a distinct threshold between life and an ambiguous realm, provoking uneasiness, because humans naturally cling to what is familiar and comprehendible, making the concept of mortality an enigma that provokes fear and uncertainty.

As Psychology expert Ali Taresh explained: “Fear of death is partly due to the mysterious and unknown nature of death, which some consider as the end of existence and entry into the unknown.” Attachment to life Another contributing factor to the fear of death lies within our deeply ingrained attachment to life.

Dr Jamil Al-Mari

“Someone who has built a great kingdom in this world and is attached to their possessions does not want to leave all of that behind,” sociology expert Jamil Al-Mari said. Life brings with it a multitude of experiences, relationships and aspirations that we hold dear. The thought of leaving behind our loved ones, unfulfilled dreams and unfinished business can raise our fear of the inevitable end. This attachment reinforces our perception of death as a cruel and tragic separation from all that we hold dear. Cultural, religious beliefs According to Taresh, culture and religion also contribute significantly to people’s fear of death.

“People’s perspectives and attitudes towards death are greatly influenced by their beliefs and social values surrounding them, which contribute to people’s fear of discussing death in many ways,” he said. Hasany affirmed: “We notice an exaggeration of fear surrounding the idea of death and intimidation when discussing moments of death. You find common stories about a person suffering in their last hours of life from pain, another person choking multiple times before their death because they were a bad person, and another person screaming in intense pain before their death.

Thus, death has become deeply associated with pain, illness and horror.” Mari also elaborated on society’s implication and culture’s influence on the way individuals react towards death. “What is commonly held in society is that death is considered frightening, and thus people are afraid of it,” he said. Overcoming fear According to Balloul, educating oneself about death can mitigate its frightening uncertainty. “The knowledgeable human being should treat the idea of death as an educational topic and engage in the process of familiarizing oneself with this idea, despite its difficulty and heavy emotions.” Likewise, Taresh said: “Encouraging open dialogue and engaging in meaningful discussions can help alleviate the fear and suffocation associated with this sensitive topic.”

The post Experts weigh in on why some fear death, how to overcome it appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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