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how to adjust fear of death in elder people?

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You might need to do some thinking about death to find the bedrock of your own views on it. Are you comfortable with the idea of death, yourself? I have some experience discussing death with elders, but more with my contemporaries (the over-50 crowd), cousins, and my children. I appreciate the gifts that we were given by our progenitors which endow our current society, I can speak of personality strengths of my own ancestors, talk of the challenges of the historical times in which they lived, console my cousins by acknowledging how our older relatives live on in our own memories, strengths and talents, share my image of how our family is like a strong rope woven of many strands that individually have their start and end, but where one ends, others extend the strength into the future.
I have also shared the concept of "completing a life" with survivors who have great difficulty accepting the imminent passing of their older relatives. For my discussions with my 90-year-old Mother, I turn to thoughts of her parents and siblings, to whom she was deeply connected, and she is always happy to think about them. We talk about their lives, their love, their caring, and the strenth, the fun and the joy each brought to the family.
In the years immediately following my Dad's death and when Mom was rudderless and awash with anxiety, I gave her my perpective on my own mortality: "Oh, yes, I'm going to die, but NOT YET. And until then, I am going to do a whole lot of smiling and laughing."
These are the best I, a rather practical and nerdy person can offer, and it took me over fifty years to come up with these. I hope that others on this forum can provide the poetical, the spiritual, and psychological perspectives that I lack.
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i have read from the bible certian passages about what is suppose to happen when you die. My Mothers favorite has to do with the Lord has prepared a room just for her. She likes that one. but she is still concerned about meeting up with my Dad in heaven. they did not have a loving relationship. I have tried to tell her that all the earth bound issues do not exsist in heaven. That seemed to help her.
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I never had a near-death experience, but I did lose a sister who died at age nine when I was an infant and too young to know her. All my life I have had an inner "knowledge" that she taught me to walk and is waiting for me to join her in the next chapter of living. I am 87 and looking forward to that journey. My faith is carrying me forward.
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are you a person of faith, do you beleive in God, if so then tell the elder the place they go is so beautiful so much more so then here on earth, which I truely beleive, that there is only happiness there and no pain and they will be united with their loved ones who went to heaven before them, God Bless
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I agree with all the things written above, and want to add that I think each person needs to be encouraged to find what will help them deal with all our eventual ends. I have found it immensely comforting to read the amazing story of a neurosurgeon:

Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon's Journey into the Afterlife
Eben Alexander III

Might be worth a look on reading. To know a glimpse of what others have found when they've had a near death experience, all th stories share a common thread which is that there is an amazing "learning" (with no necessary work/reading/experience) that is just an instant knowing, and seems to instantly bring different consciousnesses together. Also, a special person somehow connected to you or your family sometimes will greet you on the other side and it is a person you will feel comfortable with. For one person, it was a sister that had died at a younger age that the man had never known in his life.

For some reason the many many stories of near death experiences and what people have experienced (the neurosurgeon's story is especially interesting because he tried to rule out the experience with scientific explanations of his own brain activity during a 10 day coma and actually could not deny that something had actually HAPPENED-- it was not possible for his brain to have had dreams, etc. in the state ofbrain death he was actually in due to an e coli poisoning).

In any event, realizing that everything isn't over when your physical body has had its last moments I think comforts most.
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My brother gave me insight into an aspect of early 20th C Roman Catholic teaching that Mom absorbed, and that I had also in the 1950's but had forgotton or chosen to ignore. Death does not usher us to Heaven unless we are sainthood material. The best of the rest of us spend a longish time in Purgatory and the rest, well you know where they go, and it didn't take much to commit a mortal sin -- missing Mass on Sunday, not fasting from meat on Fridays (prior to 1960's)... He suggested that Mom may be not so much afraid of dying as afraid of being consigned to Hell. BAM. Suddenly, I was back in Sister Charles' Fifth Grade Class, reciting 233 pages of the Catechism from memory. I wonder if this is behind the fear? In anycase, I've made arrangements for the rector of my parish to visit Mom to chat with her and enjoy the garden at Assisted Living as the Spring warms up.
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I think all the above statements are beautiful. For me personally, what comforts me is knowing inside my heart that the Lord Jesus will be waiting for me in Heaven. It may sound really strange, but when I was a teenager I developed this unnatural fear of death. I was so scared of it and what would happen to me when I pass on some day. I'm not quite sure where it came from actually since I was young and healthy. One day, my sister sent me a letter telling me about the love of Jesus Christ, and once I gave myself to Him and asked for His forgiveness, I no longer have that fear of death anymore. I don't know if the people you are helping have a spiritual background, but a relationship with Jesus helped me tremendously. Perhaps, if you too share this same view, you could help them to know Jesus too. There is so much in this life that we don't understand about the next, but reading the Bible helps too. It gives me a sense of calm and peace of mind that nothing else in my life has been able to give me. And, God has definitely helped me through the experience of being a caregiver for such a sick person as my mother-in-law. She has Alzheimer's, so the struggles not only for her but her family as well have been lessened some by the sense of peace I have that comes from God. I hope this helps you.
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Hello Enriched, I believe we can still offer comfort even if our beliefs are different, we are still on this journey of life together- no matter what the outcome. If your Mother finds solace in prayer to her God you can join her without feeling like a hypocrite. You are comforting your loved one not changing your beliefs. I hope you get a chance to check out the story of the neurosurgeon. Maybe find a little time for yourself and sit in Barnes and Noble, have a cup of something and read a few chapters. My thoughts are with you, Namaste......
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I am not an "organized religion" person but rather a spiritual person. I feel there is definitely something after death and I've spoken with my Mom about this. She is fearful of dying but I'm not - and she professes to be a Christian. While I view death as just another adventure, she is fearful so we've had discussions. I believe in being honest about how I feel about it and encourage her to do the same -- totally express herself.
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vstefans - you are getting an Amen from me regarding inclusion. We cannot hide who we are from our own parents. My Mother used to tell me how intelligent her daughter (me) is when she thought I was her hired caregiver and she had a low-level infection that was influencing her mental status. She knows me and the kind of discussions we've have over the past 60 years. She knows I have my questions and she would know if I was faking it. And I know her. I seek to understand what she is expressing, beyond the obvious content of her words, and I seek common ground in our discussions that allows me to be genuine. A lot of thought goes into this, and my Mom knows that when we lock eyes, she is safe with me.
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