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Why are we afraid of Dying?

From the moment we are born, we begin to die. While that might sound fairly depressing, in reality it should give us more incentive to live our lives to the fullest.

Too often we are looking towards that final end, especially as we get older, and can often become so fixated on not having enough time to do everything we want, that we can forget to live our lives as we should.

The reality is that we should live every moment of our lives to the fullest and not wish them away. Ask anyone who has lost someone close to them and their most common regret will probably be that they didnít spend more time, and especially more quality time, with their loved one.

So often, we are caught up in creating a life, working and perhaps trying to make a better life for our children, that we forget that life passes quickly and time, at least some of it, might be better spent doing things with the children, friends and family rather than working hard to give them things. Very few people look back and remember with fondness a physical object in the same way they remember a special time or person in their lives. Memories are almost always made up of people and places, not objects.

Part of the fear of death can be the unknown. No one really knows what happens after we die. You may or may not believe in an afterlife which can bring you comfort, but often it is not death itself that we are afraid of, but more the manner in which we will die. We are afraid of pain and suffering, both for ourselves and for the impression it leaves on our families and friends.

Another reason we often fear death is because of what we will leave behind. To most people this means family and loved ones, but different people have different values and priorities, so in effect, it can mean just about anything.

So what can we do to overcome this fear?

Live your life as if today is your last day. Spend time with the people you love, tell them you love them, forgive them, and yourself, and enjoy every second of every day. Of course we still have to work, clean the house, iron and all the other tedious jobs, but being miserable while you do them harms no one but yourself. Look for the good in everything, be grateful that you are able to do these things - that you have a house to clean, a job to go to and live in a world where you can make choices. Not everyone has this luxury and too often we forget how lucky we actually are.

Donít waste your time thinking about death or worrying about the future. Fill each day with joy. Meet new people, try out a new sport, play with your children, live an adventurous life and tick things off that bucket list; there is so much to do if we just look for it.

We will all die eventually, but when people remember you, let it be memories of joy and laughter and living your life to the fullest. That is the best legacy possible.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Shirley McGillivray. All rights reserved.
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