On the realization you will not "live forever"

by problemaddict 2 37 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • problemaddict 2
    problemaddict 2

    Something struck me last week. I have been dealing with what i can only describe as a fear of death. I'm not old and not in bad health. I'm approaching middle age I thought so maybe this is normal. But sometimes it gets to an unhealthy level, not just recognizing a feeling and analyzing it, but actual fear.

    I was reading information about child development and body autonomy. I have two very small children,a nd how they develop and how i can encourage them is important to me. I read something that was fairly matter of fact, but really hit me.

    The suggestion rather matter of factly was that right around the age of 8-9, children discover that their life will one day be no more. they may not have context to this, but it is a realization that they are living a one and only life so to speak. Clearly there are variations based on religion (your life changes into that of an angelic life for example), but essentially the life you know will end.

    Then it hit me.......I never thought that. I assumed my life would never end. In fact, death was an enemy, not "real", and simply not even a possibility.

    So the normal human behavior that comes with recognizing our limitations, finding joy in life while not being overcome by the inevitable.....simply was shuttered before it because ingrained.

    I don't know why...but this was really an epiphany.

  • vinman

    Ecclesiastes, 12:1: " Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come, and the years draw near, when you will say, "I have no pleasure in them;"

    Ecclesiastes, 12:13 : This is the end of the matter. All has been heard. Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.

    Ecclesiastes, 12:14 : For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it is good, or whether it is evil.

    John, 5:28: "Don't marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.

  • tim3l0rd

    I came to that realization as well recently. It's like hitting a brick wall. Now I feel that there is so much that I want to do that I've put off. I get anxious with every day that passes.

  • Sabin
    My husband & I went for coffee the other day, across the road was a grave yard & I wanted to walk around it reading the head stones. It was actually quite a beautiful moment in a strange way because it touches every emotion & that teaches you something. To speak the names out loud somehow made them live again, to see the couples who were still together in death, whole families back to the late 1800`s & sadly the children, one little grave brought a lump to both of our throats. My husband found it sad as it brought up a sense of guilt that he hadn't been at his fathers funeral. He was able to talk about it & realised that being there to see his dad before he died was more important & so could now let that feeling go. For me now knowing that I would one day face death & lay amongst all the ones gone before made me think of all the good things in my life, I have exceeded my own expectations, & while I may struggle with anxiety & feelings of not being good enough things will get easier & I should embrace the journey & experience. What it showed us above everything else is that life is precious & we should treasure the moments we have every day no matter how small. All in all it helped to take the fear of death away, it sure was a peaceful place to be.
  • berrygerry

    I never thought about any of that pre-40.

    The past 20 years of my life in the Borg were living in a fog.

    We have Christian neighbours, Catholic neighbours.

    Dubs teach that non-Dubs are all evil - thieves, dopers, diseased nymphs and pedos, greedy, etc.

    Our block of worldly neighbours were/are terrific.

    They put 90% of Dubs to shame.

    They work hard, they are loyal to their mate, they love their children.

    They are doing their best to care for their own, for others, and to contribute to society - not leech.

    Is there a next life? No one has proven that conclusively - and especially what that next life looks life.

    The patriarchs died "old and satisfied."

    Don't worry about the next life. It will be what it will be.

    Cuddle your kids EVERY DAY.

    Make sure EVERY DAY that your kids KNOW that you love them.

    LOVE your spouse EVERY DAY. Let him/her know EVERY DAY.

    Become "old and satisfied."

  • Mary J Blige
    Mary J Blige
    I get it. Add to that for me it was the thought that I had forever in paradise to do whatever my heart desired as a child so I never needed to aspire. I have to work hard at setting time frames for work projects and realising urgency behind things, especially prioritizing what I might like to do or enjoy in my own time as an adult. All of those cognitive dream and goal setting years were spent looking at bible story pictures of panda patting.
  • Pete Zahut
    Pete Zahut

    Then it hit me.......I never thought that. I assumed my life would never end. In fact, death was an enemy, not "real", and simply not even a possibility.

    We "Born in's" never really had a chance to think about death or to grow accustomed to the concept of our own mortality on our own. Like so many other things, the subject was thrust upon us and we were told what to think and feel and were also told it would not happen to us if we moved as directed, listened and obeyed...end of discussion....no questions allowed.

    When we get to middle age and begin to realize that it will indeed happen, we have to come to grips with it all at once rather than little by little over our lifetime and that's not fun.

    There's a difference between being afraid of dying and being afraid of being dead. With one, you are afraid of what it is that ends up killing you and with the other you are afraid of what it's like being dead or what happens to you after you're dead.

    As someone who went through that hell and has come out on the other side of it, I can say that there is nothing more freeing than coming to peace with your own mortality. I realized that most of the worrisome things we face in life are much worse when we picture them in our head, than they are when we come face to face with them and are dealing with them head on. I don't want to die any sooner than necessary, but at the same time, I have an inner sense that when the time comes, I will handle it with all the grace, dignity and style I can manage. .

    My Mother was quite afraid of growing old and dying and I think that was why she was so attracted to the JW's when they came a knockin' when she was a young mother in her mid 20's. I remember her becoming quite seriously depressed and riddled with anxiety when 1975 came and went when she was 40ish and she began to realize that she may have to grow old before the end came. She suffered with this fear for a long long time. Ironically, she died in her mid 50's of Cancer and I sat by her hospital bed at the end and we talked about death and she made the comment that it really wasn't as bad as she thought it would be and how she regretted all the time she spent over the years worrying about it.

    As I've gotten older, I've gotten more comfortable with not knowing and with taking a wait and see attitude and there has been a certain amount of peace that has come, in doing so.

  • berrygerry

    "Ironically, she died in her mid 50's of Cancer and I sat by her hospital bed at the end and we talked about death and she made the comment that it really wasn't as bad as she thought it would be and how she regretted all the time she spent over the years worrying about it."

    Excellent statement.

    Wasting time worrying instead of doing.

    A fav quote: From Shawshank Redemption -

    "Get busy living, or get busy dying."

  • Saintbertholdt

    On the realization you will not "live forever"

    What do you mean I'm not going to live forever? No-one informed me of this. I'll have to do some research.

    I kid, I kid...

    The real question is this: How do you want to go?

    Getting older and sicker, older and sicker and then finally dying of cancerous decrepitude?

    Or quickly by having your nuts bitten off by a Laplander?

  • Syme

    It is expected that, when you've been raised as a jw with the fallacious notion that you're "designed" to live forever, once you've realized that this simply isn't true, what comes after is a bit weird: You learn that you have only one life in a much older age than it is normal to do so.

    This brings problems. In one of the last jw funerals that I attended, I was astounded by the excessive grief that everyone had, despite the fact that the late jw was far over 90 years old, and had died of natural causes, without any pain. Then it stroke me that that was because jws never reconcile with the idea of death. They are all sure they will live forever, they are SURE that death isn't natural, and when death comes, even in a 100-year-old, it always comes to them as a complete surprise, like they can't believe it.

    A person really starts to live, as a grown-up, from the moment they realize there's no second life. An ordinary person realizes that at his adolescence, give or take. Most devout jws never realize that, which means that they essentially remain children until very, very late.

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