How do I deal with death?
December 10, 2007 9:36 PM Subscribe
I've reached my late 20s without ever facing death. How do I deal with death when I know I will face it sooner or later?
I've never even had a dead pet--my childhood cat is still chugging along at 15, although he's getting sick now and I'm terrified at the thought of his death. If the idea of a pet passing away scares me that much, I'm very worried at how I will react to a family member or friend dying. I sometimes have very real-seeming dreams about getting "the call"--that my sisters are dead, that my fiance is dead, that my parents or grandparents are dead. In the most recent one, I had to roll over and wake my fiance to make sure he was still breathing.
I'm currently on anti-depressants for SAD and physical symptoms of depression (I'm generally a happy person); I'm not a big believer in therapy doing anything for me that I can't work through myself. I don't even know if this is a problem or if this is a normal fear that people have. I know, though, that I've never had to face the death of anyone I know or care about. Everyone I know has been through at least the death of a grandparent, if not more.
How can I learn to deal with this, and what can I expect when someone dies? I really, honestly do not know what happens or what I am supposed to do or what etiquette requires. I need this explained to me in the way a child is explained when his first pet or grandparent dies. How does a funeral go, what's a wake, am I supposed to go home and for how long, that kind of thing. What do you wish you would have known when you first faced death? I think the mystery is the main thing making me worry.