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KarateKen
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 12 Nov 2021
Posts: 530
Location: Dojo
Styles: Karate

PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2023 6:08 pm    Post subject: Accepting Death Reply with quote

Somewhat tagging the "Meaning of Life" thread, what are some ways you have learned to accept and cope with death? Death of a relative, friend, a pet, or the inevitable death of yourself?

About five years ago I lost someone close to me and I think I still have not fully recovered. Ever since then I have been thinking about how long I will live on a daily basis and sometimes just go to bed thankful that "I lived through another day." I am healthy and don't have a reason to believe it's likely I will die soon but I know that life can change fast and anyone can die on any given day.  I have some trouble accepting that.
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Zaine
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 2298
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2023 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I definitely think that you should talk to a therapist about this, if you haven't already.

Death is complicated for the survivors and simple for those that have passed. We all struggle with the end in one way or another and coming to terms with that end is something that not everyone can do. To quote Hamlet:

Quote:
To die, to sleep;
To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub:
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause—there's the respect
That makes calamity of so long life.


I do not have a good answer for you as to how to accept death, nor can I give you the ability to do so. It is something that I still struggle with from time to time even though I feel that I have accepted my own mortality. There is not secret to accepting death, it's something that we don't have a choice in. I would say, perhaps reductively, to make your life worth living. Take part in things you love, learn from the things that cause you pain, try to make the world around you, whether immediate or otherwise, a better place. Worry not about the future, but focus on the present. Life is difficult and it is easy for us to focus on the difficulty. Find those things that make life easier and create a habit of surrounding yourself with love.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 30234
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2023 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boy, you're pulling out all the big questions, aren't you!

This is a tough one. As a younger man, I didn't think about it much; only when a relative or acquaintance died. As an older man, there's days I think about it going to work: "this could be the day someone tries to kill me." And then, I just go about my work. Then there's other aspect of death that can come to mind; quick and instantaneous, or slow and agonizing? Just the other day, I was talking to my wife, and told her that if and when I go, I want to donate my martial arts library to someone or somewhere that will preserve it for other local martial artist to use. That's kind of weird, right?

I will say this: I hope there's pizza and Oreos in heaven, cause I'm going to eat a ton of them when I get there!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 16479
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2023 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard to accept death but then again, what other choices do I have. The chairs around my table are quite empty nowadays, and one day, my chair will be empty.

I don't like that reality!! We are born once, and we die once.



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KarateKen
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 12 Nov 2021
Posts: 530
Location: Dojo
Styles: Karate

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2023 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Boy, you're pulling out all the big questions, aren't you!

This is a tough one. As a younger man, I didn't think about it much; only when a relative or acquaintance died. As an older man, there's days I think about it going to work: "this could be the day someone tries to kill me." And then, I just go about my work. Then there's other aspect of death that can come to mind; quick and instantaneous, or slow and agonizing? Just the other day, I was talking to my wife, and told her that if and when I go, I want to donate my martial arts library to someone or somewhere that will preserve it for other local martial artist to use. That's kind of weird, right?

I will say this: I hope there's pizza and Oreos in heaven, cause I'm going to eat a ton of them when I get there!


I was a little worried I was getting too dark.

I don't think it is strange to want to pass things along after you die, it is part of a legacy, leaving something important behind to remind people of what you were about. Also, others will benefit from the information. Different people have different ideas of what they want to do. I had a martial arts instructor tell me that he wants to be buried in his dobok.
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KarateKen
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 12 Nov 2021
Posts: 530
Location: Dojo
Styles: Karate

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2023 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
It's hard to accept death but then again, what other choices do I have. The chairs around my table are quite empty nowadays, and one day, my chair will be empty.

I don't like that reality!! We are born once, and we die once.




I'm sorry. That sounds terrible.

Our family has gotten small too and it seems like every week I hear about someone else who is very sick or who recently died.
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DarthPenguin
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 03 Dec 2021
Posts: 955
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Styles: Shotokan, Judo, BJJ

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2023 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KarateKen wrote:
sensei8 wrote:
It's hard to accept death but then again, what other choices do I have. The chairs around my table are quite empty nowadays, and one day, my chair will be empty.

I don't like that reality!! We are born once, and we die once.




I'm sorry. That sounds terrible.

Our family has gotten small too and it seems like every week I hear about someone else who is very sick or who recently died.


I don't think you can really say that that does or doesn't sound terrible tbh.

Everyone handles this subject differently so i would say that there is no right or wrong way.

I would, however, echo Zaine's suggestion of a therapist, they may help with sorting things out
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KarateKen
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 12 Nov 2021
Posts: 530
Location: Dojo
Styles: Karate

PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2024 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting take by Alan Watts about death. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SY1LzlFWZI8

Lately I have been thinking about how the future of humanity feels bleak. I met someone earlier this year who said "the world is going to (cuss word) so if my time to die is tomorrow, then I am OK with it." This kind of works for me when thinking about death and how there are so many things I imagine I won't have to put up with anymore that I find frustrating, scary, hurtful, ect. I don't want to die tomorrow, and this person I met was dealing with depression, but it made sense to me that someone would feel that way.

Whether I die tomorrow or live another 50 years, I hope that when it does happen it is not painful, and that I end up in a better place.
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Montana
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 897
Location: Formerly Kalispell, Montana, now Spokane, WA
Styles: Shorin Ryu Matsumura Kenpo & Kobudo

PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2024 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting discussion.

I worked as a caregiver for about 10 years. I've gotten very close to some of my clients and have helped them and their families thru the dying process. It isn't easy, nor is it "rewarding" for me.

A few years ago my best friend died suddenly, and unexpectantly. He was 50 years old, former high school/college athlete, drank lightly, didn't smoke, exercised often and by all regards, in good shape. He was in his kitchen alone and had a heart attack caused by an undiagnosed heart condition. He left behind his wife and 5 daughters. The oldest daughter was 18 and preparing for college, his youngest was 6. I'm still struggling with that.

My first wife died about a year and a half ago from Tongue cancer, usually associated with tobacco chewers. She didn't EVER use tobacco in any form, and alight drinker. She had 1/3 of her tongue cut out, chemo and radiation and declared cancer free. A year later she work up bleeding from her mouth and noise. They rushed her to the hospital and she died the next day. We were pretty close and had been married 17 years with 2 sons.

I myself am now 71 years of age with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. It's considered a "good" cancer, as it kills you slowly. It could take as long as 20 years. I was diagnosed with it 7 years and the only way they found it was because I had an infected tooth. They did a blood test and my white blood cell count was very high. Normal is around 4000, mine is in the 80-90,000 range. My Dr says I'll probably die from something else, as I have no visible symptoms yet, but having watched both of my parents die of cancer and patients I've had, it's always on my mind. I've also had a mild heart attack sometime in my life according to a stress test I took some years ago.

Everybody dies. Today, tomorrow, next year...it's coming. I've accepted this and don't worry about it. I live my life one day at a time.
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 28834
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2024 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for sharing this with us, Montana. It sounds like you have been through a lot. I'm glad that you are in a good place regarding your own diagnosis.

I have heart issues in my family. My grandfather had at least one heart attack without realizing it. Definitely something I think about.
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