Fear of death & befriending fear

I am re-watching Ram Dass: Going Home, and find Ram Dass and his vulnerability and love very moving.

At some point, he talks about fear of death.

Most or all of us have fear around death and related issues like non-existence, pain, loss, the unknown, and so on.

We can explore these. We can imagine ourselves close to death and dying, see what comes up, and find some peace with it. (I did that a lot in my twenties.) We can learn about research into life between lives and rebirth. We can learn what different traditions say about it. We can actively work on whatever issues we have around death, loss, pain, the unknown, and whatever else is here in us. We can release tension and fear out of our body, and perhaps specifically focus on fear related to death. We can work on trusting life and finding more peace with change. And so on.

All of this can help release some of the fear that death brings up in us, and it can help us live our life now more fully.

At the same time, what comes up for me is that I cannot know. I cannot know if or how much fear of death is in me. I cannot know what will come up if or when I am faced with death in whatever way it comes. I cannot know what situations will come up related to death. I cannot know for certain any of these things, or what happens during or after death.

There is a humility here. I’ll just see what happens like everyone else. If fear comes up, that’s OK even if some parts of me thinks it’s not OK.

And this also reminds me that finding peace with fear is perhaps as or more important than working through anything that brings up fear in us, although the two are related.

Can I befriend fear? When fear comes up in my system, how do I relate to it? How is it to say YES to the fear and whatever I experience?

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