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Old May 9th, 2016, 04:42 AM   #1
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the struggle with death

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Self-awareness is a supreme gift, a treasure as precious as life. This is what makes us human. But it comes with a costly price: the wound of mortality. Our existence is forever shadowed by the knowledge that we will grow, blossom, and, inevitably, diminish and die. - Irvin Yalom
This weekend my son had an existential crisis. He started thinking about death and specifically my impending death bothered him. it went something like this:
*
G: How old are you ? 100?
Me: No much younger than that.
G: I hope you get to be 177.
Me: oh yeah?
G: Yeah I don't want you to ever die and leave me.
(at this point he became kind of emotional. quivering lip and teary eyed.)
I explained it from my framework and am satisfied, but its a curious thing when a child starts to ponder such. I remember being around 4 or 5 when I started thinking about it. I saw on the news that the real smokey the bear had died, and my mind took several jumps and realized, "Oh crap! were all going to die and worst of all...my parents are going to die!"
*
Anyways, just curious:
when did you first discover death? How did you cope? (talk to parents, etc) Also how did you explain it to children?

Last edited by arcturus88; May 9th, 2016 at 05:14 AM.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 05:05 AM   #2
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I will not judge if your response is decidedly non-theist. Just curious about your personal awareness and struggle with death and how you handled your children when they approached this.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 05:12 AM   #3
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I do not recall ANY of our three kids bringing up the subject.

I also don't recall ever bringing it up myself as a kid.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 05:14 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Aufgeblassen View Post
I do not recall ANY of our three kids bringing up the subject.

I also don't recall ever bringing it up myself as a kid.
did you struggle with it internally (but not bringing it up), if you recall?
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Old May 9th, 2016, 05:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by arcturus88 View Post
did you struggle with it internally (but not bringing it up), if you recall?
I don't recall doing so. But my dad died when I was 7, and grandfather when I was 12, so I understood it. Also, our dog died at some point when I was a young lad too.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 07:39 AM   #6
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In my youth I did indeed wonder about and consider what death was. As I aged and seriously considered mortality as family and friends died I came to the conclusion that I will never escape or know what it entails. Once I did so I accepted it as a futile thing to waste my time on, let alone allow to worry me.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 08:16 AM   #7
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In my youth I did indeed wonder about and consider what death was..
Do you remember what that period was like though?
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Old May 9th, 2016, 09:02 AM   #8
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Do you remember what that period was like though?
I think it began with the death of my Aunt Evelyn...I cried and grieved enormously. After a while I contemplated my Grandfather being next as he was recovering from a stroke. I came to understand how completely powerless I was to change the inevitable.
In time I came to accept this reality and simply go on being happy with life instead of wasting it thinking and worrying about it ending.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 11:12 AM   #9
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I think most people go about their lives and don't think much about it.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 11:19 AM   #10
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I think most people go about their lives and don't think much about it.
In many people, death anxiety is overt and easily recognizable, however distressing. In others, it is subtle,covert, and hidden behind other symptoms, and it is identified only by exploration, even excavation. - Yalom
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Old May 9th, 2016, 03:36 PM   #11
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In many people, death anxiety is overt and easily recognizable, however distressing. In others, it is subtle,covert, and hidden behind other symptoms, and it is identified only by exploration, even excavation. - Yalom
Ya think? I don't.
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Old May 9th, 2016, 06:53 PM   #12
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I have enough struggle with life that I ain't got time for dat!

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