fear of death

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If you ignore, hide or deny that you are aging and what's the harm? You'd be surprised.

Because you are reading this, you are on the forefront of a revolution. Traditional attitudes about death and dying are changing.

Look around and you’ll see the signs everywhere —in new movies (like The Bucket List which quotes our center’s research)—on TV shows—in books and in magazines. Americans--especially baby boomers--are taking a second look at ageism, at mortality, and it’s changing them and our culture forever--for the better.

The old attitudes? Americans have been obsessed with denying their aging—unlike people from many other cultures.  For decades we’ve done whatever it takes to ignore, repress, deny and hide from our aging—forcing this inevitable reality from our consciousness.

Need proof? Want examples?

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed in the center’s ongoing study said they worry about aging at least weekly. When thoughts of aging arise, what do they do? Fifty-four percent do whatever it takes to block these thoughts—to repress them. (Read study highlights or explore the issue in the center’s new paperback from RDR Books titled, Coming to Terms with Aging.)

Avoidance is so powerful that while we plan for other life passages--for confirmations and bar mitzvahs, graduations, weddings, childbirth , retirement--when it comes to the end of life planning--we do practically nothing. Why do you think that, according to polling firm Ipsos-Reid Express, 59% of Americans have not even made a simple will? (continued right column)

On the lighter side...proof positive that aging has a lighter side! Marble
The fable of a 1000 marbles.
What does a popular country and western song say about our issue?

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Life Awareness Center
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Narragansett, RI  02882
Email: Director, The Life Awareness center.
Copyright © 2007 [The Life Awareness Center. All rights reserved.
Revised: 7/21/2010


Read suggestions on discussing mortality issues with patients.


Continued from far left column:

Why do we darken our hair and spend for cosmetic surgery? Why do we send seniors to elder care institutions?  Because historically, we have run from everything that reminds us that we age.

So what? Why face aging when it's unpleasant?

The things we fear change us. And when we fear obsessively, it affects our psyche. When fears permeate a culture, in the long term they powerfully alter our educational institutions, our politics, our healthcare, and collectively--our potential for happiness. (The full impact of the fear of aging is outlined at this site and in the center’s book, Coming to Terms with Aging.)

The important thing is that we are starting to deal with our all-enveloping fear of aging and mortality. Baby boomers will lead the way---driving a change in our cultural bias against growing old—our rampant ageism.  The revolution will come with amazing benefits because when you as an individual, and we as a culture, face what is real, it transforms us. It changes how we value our time. It changes our capacity for introspection. It changes how we care for one another.

Use this site.

Related News
Is it ethical to accept extensive, costly end of life care if the end is soon and certain?

Comments by the Ethecist from the New York Times
Full story here.

Parents: Learn what to say...
and what not to say if your
ask about
death and dying.

As you age, are you as
likely to see things as you
always have
Read the latest research
and take the quiz


Continued from center column:

Learn how you can come to terms with this central life issue and how you can reduce your fear of aging and dying. Learn how fear drains your energy and diminishes your enjoyment. We know with absolute certainty, that as you begin to grapple with this issue, good changes will come. You will live less in memory (the past) and less focused in fantasy (the future) and more in the precious moment of the present.

Explore our site for fascinating infor-mation including:

Welcome to the Life Awareness Center and thank you for helping us explore this vital issue.