Do you fear death?

As I’ve gotten older(62) I’ve been thinking a lot about the prospect of my own death. A lot of people either can’t/won’t even discuss the subject, it’s one of life’s many taboos. I, on the other hand, have no problem talking about something that is going to happen to every single one of us, no exceptions. Why are people so put off by the subject?

There are 2 certainties in life, DEATH and TAXES. It seems to me that one reason people don’t want to talk about it is because they’re afraid talking about it means it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. Or maybe talking about it means that you want to die sooner rather than later.

In 2010 our mom died( I had 3 sisters) and we had to handle her funeral arrangements and clean out her house and sell it. At first, it all seemed kind of surreal having to go to the cemetery and pick out her burial plot and then going back to the mortuary to pick out her casket/coffin all in a span of 2 hours. It was really weird, and it really sucked.

After all of that, I decided to not put my wife/kids in that kind of situation. Losing a family member is hard enough, they don’t need any of that extra baggage, so while we were at the cemetery I asked the funeral director a couple of questions. My sisters thought I was nuts for asking, but I asked him if you had to buy the " BOX" from them, or could you build your own? He said there are no requirements that you have to buy one of their insanely over priced coffins from them, you can supply your own, done. I was also able to reserve a spot next to my mom as my final resting place, done.

So 3 years ago, I asked our daughter and son-in-law if it would be alright if I built my own coffin in their huge shop. We don’t own our own home anymore, so I needed a place to build it. They thought it was a very strange question to ask, but when I told them why I was doing it, they wanted to think about it. After a few days they said it would be okay, as long as their then 1 year old son didn’t know what was going on.

So over the course of the next 3 or so weeks, I went to p/u the materials I needed and drove to their house and proceeded to design and build my own casket. I brought all of my own tools and everything else I needed to do the job. When it was finished, we stored it in the crawl-space under their house, it’s huge with 6’ ceilings. We placed it on some 4x4s and covered it with a bedspread. It sat there until they decided to sell their home and move to a warmer climate than what we have here in N.W. WASH. state. That was in FEB., they’re still undecided about where to live, and I have my casket standing on end in our small garage.

Long story short(too late) I do not fear death, it just means the end of my existence on this planet. In some ways I’m looking forward to it because it means no more pain. Are you afraid of dying, is it a subject you can talk about freely, or is it off limits?

P.S. I went out of my way to make my casket one of a kind, it’s black w/orange accents, definitely made just for me. If anyone wants to see it, I can post some photos of it in the future.

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Yeah, Australians don’t deal with death well. It’s as if people think it will go away if they ignore it.

Although I’m not certain, I’m reasonably sure death i snot an experience, so there is literally nothing to fear. Just as I’m not afraid of the aeons before I existed.

However, I am afraid of dying. As far as I can tell this is instinctive and has a strong evolutionary advantage. In our species, people who are afraid of death are more likely to survive than those who have little or no fear.

Build my own coffin? Nah, I’m being cremated, and have expressed the desire for a cardboard coffin. Funeral companies lie about cardboard coffins because there is far less profit than say a wooden one. The claim of leakage is a lie. Here in my State , a coffin is not legally required. I understand a shroud is fine. It would freak out my sibs.

But, you want to make yours. Terrific. I have chosen to be cremated because I have an irrational fear of being buried alive. My father once expressed the same fear to my sister in law who is a funeral director.

Quoth she ; " Well, if you’re not dead when we get you, you bloody well are when we’re finished with you"

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I’m not afraid of dying. But if I have to suffer a lot of pain to get there, that’s my fear. I’m going to look into being buried as fertilizer after some medical types dig out the bits they want from my sorry old carcass. It has the lowest carbon footprint, I think. Think about it- one day there will be a “crab” (as my wife puts it) apple tree where I was buried. :smiley:

I think there can be no more natural and healthy thing than to build your own coffin. I commend you on affirmative action. I am slotted for cremation. I dont care to take up any more room than my big clumsy body already has in this world, but that might just be the conservationist in me. I certainly do not believe in the problematic 'bodily resurrections of certain theists.
I continue to have no fear of being dead. Not only is it going to happen to everyone it has happened to everyone who ever lived and when you think about those sorts of numbers its clear its a part of the whole natural process of being alive to which I, at least, am very grateful having had the opportunity to experience. The manner of my going is the concern. But unlike Hamlet I have no “dread of something after death”.

Australians, like all people, will talk about the deaths of strangers, the unknowns, whose stories end up in the news or on those murder investigations so popular on TV. Theres that schadenfreude aspect when death happens to others and a degree of titillation when it is delivered at the hands of others, or when aeroplanes fall out of skies. Its like they enjoy peeping behind the celestial curtain.
When discussion turns to their own deaths I have known people to leave the room to avoid it, or actively attempt to change the subject.

In discussions like this I like to quote Will Rogers, “When I die I want to die like my grandpa, quietly in my sleep and not with the screaming and panic of the passengers in his car.” Ghoulish perhaps but it never fails to make me laugh.

You may be right, but the idea creeps me out.

A mate who died 2 years ago had a wicker coffin. The idea was to bury him and plant a tree on top. ,

Yeah, perhaps more as we age. No matter who it is , I seem to almost always have that fleeting thought that “I’m so glad it wasn’t me”

My father, his father and my maternal grand father each died with arteriosclerosis which caused them to be demented to various degrees. Dad was the worst, living until 87.

Over the last 40 odd years, I’ve said that if I feel myself seriously slipping, I’ll leave. Now that I’m over 70, I’m not convinced I’ll have the courage. I suspect I might leave it too late. Right now, I relish each day. I realised a few years ago that I’d rather be alive and miserable than dead.

If I have my druthers, I’d druther die quietly say from a stroke in my sleep, or perhaps have a plane fall on my house while I’m sleeping, sometime in my late 80’s.

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Of course I do not want to die, and I hope my death is quick and painless.

But what I fear more is not living to the maximum in what time I am allowed to savor each moment, instead to have adventures, to keep checking off my bucket list, and truly appreciating and enjoying the company I keep.


Don’t have bucket list, never have. Right now, there is nothing major left for me too do. Accomplished all the big things before I was 40 or realised I could not get them to happen and let go of them. I have long ceased being major-goal focused

These days I do the best I can to use the sentiments of the serenity prayer, said to myself:

“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.[[1]”

67 this year and any time you feel like talking just shoot me a PM. I think I am quite comfortable with the idea of dying. I have had a great life. I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed given my humble beginnings. I am happy to be alive each morning when I step out of my door.

Making your own casket is a really cool idea. Love to see it. I’m leaving the planet, quick and easy, card board box and a cremation. My friends want to have a ceremony… ha ha ha … they are going to have to pay for it… I am going to die broke. (Actually, I will pay for the cremation prior to my death, that is the hope. And then will anything I have to whoever happens to be around me at the time.)

Same :sunglasses: and yes to cremation for me.

Will so far have the boys (staggered payouts for their different life stages). I’ll change it as they, get older. Regardless of their own life choices, they get an equal share. Just the staggering part.

It seems like more and more people want to be cremated instead of buried, why is that? My wife has stated that she wishes to be cremated, and I obviously plan on being planted 6 feet deep. If I go first, then the kids will scatter her ashes in the ocean, but if for some reason she dies first, then I’ll have her ashes buried with me.

I know it may sound weird, but every time I go to the cemetery to pay my respects, I get this feeling of calmness and a sense that I belong there. I love visiting and exploring old cemeteries, always have.

When my older sister died last year, she had been in 2 hospitals for a total of 4 weeks. Because of Covid no one but my brother-in-law was ever allowed to see her, and then when she died, she was cremated and that was it. We couldn’t have any kind memorial service, it was as if she just disappeared. It’s a very strange situation.

I’ve told my wife and kids that when I’m gone, I would like them to put a lit jack-o-lantern on my grave every Halloween to remember me. I’ve also been keeping a journal that I started in April of 2014 that my wife doesn’t even know exists. My 2 kids know of it, I told them about it 3 years ago, and they know where it is, but no one else knows what’s in it. After I’m gone, they’ll give it to my wife to read first, then my kids, and then my 2 younger sisters.

As soon as I figure out how to do it, I’ll post some photos.

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I sometimes use to roam freely around the cemeteries in this city. As an art student I was interested in the cultural, historical, and religious differences cemeteries express.

The best one was the enormous sprawling Rookwood Cemetary (780 acres, the largest in the southern hemisphere) when I was stoned. There are/were divisions for different religions and nationalities and the variety of headstones and monuments were fascinating. I was always on my best behaviour, only ever there in the daytime (I have no love of Gothic morbidness), but I confess to entering several old family vaults whose doors were not locked or sealed. I’d let myself in and get to know the family members.

In the Catholic zone the was an amazing 100-year-old family vault that took up the space of a medium-sized house. It was constructed as a miniature cathedral with spires reaching thirty/forty feet. It comprised flying buttresses and stained glass windows and on top of that, it was surrounded by a three-foot-wide moat (full of stagnant grey water) which along with the ornate iron fence that embraced the lot, I took to be an express request to keep out.
I don’t go anymore. My wife’s ashes are there in her garden plot. A vacant spot next to her waits for me, but I’m going sailing, quite literally I will ‘cross the bar’.

And I absolutely hate going there now. Within the garden walls I can not find the serenity or peace that mr.macabre does. I can’t let go the despair I felt the day we buried her there, of having lost my girl, way too soon. She lives happily in my head and I see her move and talk and smile, where ever I am. It’s a better, more lively, more fitting remembrance than a silent plaqued garden plot amongst all the other drab monuments.

And to be cremated and my ashes returned to the ‘boundless deep’ is more comforting than the idea of some unknown melancholic art student stoner parking his arse on my burial plot vainly trying to make conversation.

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I’m sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine what it would feel like to lose my wife.

I’ve often wondered.

The Catholic church teaches of the resurrection of all the dead on the last day. It removed its fatuous objections to cremation when I was in my teens.

Like many people, these days as ‘a senior’ invitations to weddings are rare. However, I get to go to a LOT of funerals. In the last twenty or so years, I’ve only been to two funerals where the person was buried. Each time the service ended at the church. No one went to the cemetery to witness the burial.

Each of my devout catholic parents was cremated, at their request. Again the service ended at the church.

As for the why of it. Perhaps in part it’s just the fashion. Could also have something to do with some confused idea about saving land/resources. (a bit of a joke in Australia) As far as I can see, burials are much more low tech and eco friendly.*** Cremations take a lot of energy.

Here in Oz a movement towards the self descriptive ‘compost burials’ is in its infancy. Hope it catches on. Who knows, in another generation or so it may no longer be a matter of choice.

In OZ, the US and some other anglo/white bread cultures, the deaths of loved ones is not handled well. If you try to talk about it, you’re accused of being morbid .(no shit)

My mother died two years ago, a month to the day from her 93rd birthday. She was acutely aware she was going to die sooner rather than later. She made sure her will was absolutely up to date (as is mine) Mum also left five pages of hand written instructions about her funeral. They were followed to the letter.

If one wants to to be a bit Avante Garde, one could donate one’s body to science or perhaps to an FBI (or similar) ‘body farm’. The philosopher Jeremy Bentham had himself stuffed. He remains on display in a glass case at University College London…

My boys have threatened to stuff my body and
prop me up in the corner.

They’d have one of those “pull strings”… I’d say things like “Jesus fuckin’Christ” and the perpetual resting bitch face would stay.


Your boys sound like the kind of teen I wish I’d been. Looks like you’ve done a pretty good job with them.

--------------------Unless of course you’ve been lying your tits off. :innocent:

No, her tits are there, didn’t you see the pics?


You remember :kissing_heart:

Said “my body was too short”

No, I missed them. It’s quite OK, really. Pointless getting all dressed up with no place to go. I even wear my bathers in the shower these days; I don’t like looking down on the unemployed. :blush:

I don’t fear death, I fear leaving my friends and family behind.


I don’t have that fear. As far as I’m aware, I’m the only one who thinks I’m important. Of course such feelings and fears are irrelevant when one is dead. What with being dead and all.

There’s an old saying " The cemetery is full of indispensable people" (anon)