Greetings, dear Nick, and peace to you! An interesting OP.
I would like to comment on the subject of the fear of death/oblivion, first, if I may. Personally, I don't have a fear of either. Coming from where I have, I've seen a lot of it and starting at a very early age. Lots of death in my community. And occurring at very young ages. At one time, death was our "dinner" - it could occur simply for looking at someone "wrong" or being in the wrong place at the wrong time (your front lawn). We still have the highest rate of infant mortality in the western world... and our African cousins, in the entire world. We have the highest rate of death due to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes... and illnesses related to these. Today, we even have death due to local violence. Say nothing of those who die in battle, prisons, car accidents, etc. For many years, and most of my young years... death was just another part of life. Actually, for my generation and those before, it was our legacy, death was... by one means or another. And so I heard comments like the one from dear Unschackled's dad (peace to you!)... LONG before I ever knew what a Jehovah's Witness was.
I don't look forward to death, though, as some "christians" apparently [say they] do... and/or believe they are supposed to. But that's because, as others stated... I would be concerned for my children. I know what it's like to be without [a] parent(s). Also, neither have children, yet, and I barely knew my grandparents. My son did not know his at all and my daughter only knew my father for a few brief years. This is because all died at relatively young ages (I lost my own mother when she was 42 on my 18th birthday' my father, 11 years later, when he was 52. Both had lived somewhat "hard" lives - well, they choose to view them as "hard"... and so often spoke of "going home to rest", as many in my community did and do). I almost lost my son 6 years after that, when he was 10 years old... and could have lost my own due to post-surgery complications just this past February. Yet, that didn't stop me from having another recent one - you do what you gotta do. Death isn't as big a deal in my culture.
[Wait... before anyone starts to hyperventilate - it is a big deal, indeed a huge deal. But NOT as big as it is in, say, YOUR culture. YOUR culture perhspd expects folks to live long, relatively "happy" lives. It is how "you" can plan for the future. My culture hasn't even entertained the thought of, much less enjoyed, such a privilege for more than, say, the past 20 years or so. Of course, there are exceptions - SA winks at Miz Josie - peace to you, as well! But long life, prosperity, ambition, aspiration... such hopes are relatively recent for those in my culture. NOT because they didn't have them; because they were denied them. I digress.]
That I don't fear death isn't because I have a hope of life "on the other side", though. To the contrary, I realize, as dear Tams stated (the greatest of love and peace to you, dear one!), that there's no guarantee. Most who do, serve "God"... because they either want to ultimately be "with" Him... or because they want to live... and forever. And/or want to see loved ones again. And I get all of that, truly. But they are not what motivates ME. My belief is not based on what God can/will do for me. Because He already did it. Rather, it is based on my love for HIM... and for His Son... for what they've done... and continue to do. Which love exists... not as an abstract... but because I KNOW the Ones I love. I know the PERSONS they are... by what they tell and show me NOW.
If I die, will I sleep, only to wake up at some future time? I truly think so. But I have no problem with death being my ultimate end. I mean, if it is, what can I do about it after I die? Not a thing. Why, then, get upset NOW... if what I HOPE may not be realized THEN? So long as, while I have my hope... I do good to my fellowman, don't oppress anyone, exercise justice... and mercy... and show the love that I claim these are teaching me... then, what difference does it make?
I think the problem arises... from both poles... when, rather than just putting out there what we believe to be true (based on whatever we base truth on)... we try to MAKE others believe... or disbelieve... as we do. By direct force... by brainwashing... by insinuations designed to chip away at their own self-awareness, being, and self-esteem... whatever. So long as the END is that they eventually BELIEVE that they have NO OTHER CHOICE but to believe as you do... whatever it is you believe (or don't believe). Right OR wrong.
But... we DO have a choice. Where we fail, as a species... is when we let others take that choice away from us.
People who DOUBT their beliefs... and their gods... absolutely SHOULD consider discarding them. What benefit is there in putting one's faith in a god one doubts exists? Or beliefs one is not sure of? Or a religion one is not sure of... or completely committed to? That is not faith.
But people who DON'T doubt... who DO have faith... should hold onto that. Because they won't be disappointed. Even if others believe them fools.
Again, peace to you... and may JAH bless...
YOUR servant and a slave of Christ,