Monday, 7 January 2013

Overcoming the Fear of Death

I may have mentioned this book before. But not in the last few months, so...

It's been  enormously enlightening to me; I hope it can be so for you too, whatever your non/very/religious/don't know/ look just leave me alone belief system might be. It needs no puff from me, so if you'll excuse a personal note, I'll simply quote the text of an email I sent recently to Dr Yalom:

"Dear Doctor Yalom,
I have read and re-read "Staring At The Sun."
Thank you. The courage, compassion and insights in your book have rolled up the blinds for me and let in light.
I am a funeral celebrant. What I have gained from your book stands at my side every time I meet a grieving family.
Your book gives me strength to say the things that matter to them, to ask them the things that need to be asked.
What I have learned from your book is also part of my own inner life, my dialogues with myself as well as with others.
you write of "rippling." Your book ripples, and ripples, and ripples....
I just needed to say: thank you.

with very best wishes"

I sent this after reading a section of the book about a very simple and powerful idea: tell people if you feel gratitude towards them; don't wait until they are dead and tell their grieving families....

Gent that he is, Dr Y replied courteously and briefly, which I much appreciate from such a busy man, at his time of life (he is 81) and probably at the peak of his celebrity. And he signed it "Irv." Dude, as his countrymen say. (Maybe they still do say it?)

So if the prospect of death scares you a bit/some/all of the time, this book is very helpful. If you are never ever anxious about death, I mean, the ending of your life, not death in general, please get checked over; you may already be dead. In which case, there's not point in buying this book; it's too late....

1 comment:

  1. Many of us feel the fear of death. Like a mother who is afraid to leave her husband and kids behind. We all are going to die. That's a fact that we can't escape. One good solution on how to overcome fear of death is by being PREPARED. Just like what you have said that you have to tell the person about your gratitude towards him or her while he or she is still living. As for the mother, she prepares her family by uniting them one more time and telling them to be strong and be together always through thick and thin. And then she dies happily with tears flowing from her eyes.