Home / Feature / Fear of loss and death. Psychology.

Fear of loss and death. Psychology.


Fatema Miah:

The pandemic has brought us all closer to an awareness of death and the inevitability of our own death, people say.
Pulitzer prize was awarded for the book, what was written in the 1970s by a sociologist called Ernest Becker. The book called The Denial of Death. Becker thought that the awareness of death was at the bottom of most of the behaviours and achievements that mark human beings out from other species. Understandably, he is right that  “Human”  are probably the only species  is conscious of the fact of our eventual death and  in response, we develop hopes and dreams, we create art and sculpture. we build vast monuments and memorials, and we need to make meaning out of our lives all the time. My adding of another yarning is,  for the faith people also do strive to earn for the after-death.
Though a psychologist questioned Becker’s claim, by asking is there any hard evidence for this idea?  A group of psychologists got interested in Becker’s ideas in the 1980s and started trying to test them. They came up with the idea of Terror Management Theory. We’re all terrified of our own knowledge of the inevitability of dying, so we must have a way of dealing with it. These psychologists thought we do this in two ways, by having a set of values and meanings  we hold dear, and by preserving our self-esteem or sense of self worthy individuals. Over the years they devised a set of experiments which they think prove when we are made more aware of our own mortality we respond by asserting our values more strongly, and doing things that boost our self-esteem.
The Coronavirus pandemic made people  more anxious and more aware of risk and the fact people are dying and we all will die one day. People are reacting to this awareness. Its our underlying awareness of death is an  important factor in explaining human behaviour and culture.  Every body reacts differently.  After all there is a pressure of cultural manner cannot be denied falls heavy on individual to grief certain way. However it’s not the individuals own  choice of way of grief. It’s a complex factor in life for individuals to deal with grief.
The world is cause of complication. Some community Culture certainly make it difficult for some individuals in grief. Covid-19 is over exaggerated in causing fear in minds and it’s in a way caused a collective culture.  Culture after all we cannot separate from any aspect of life and certainly its playing part in this Covid -19 crises, different ways. Covid-19 pandemic caused and spreading fear, as I explained previously.
As we grow older , we cling to our dear live strongly may be because we have lived through thick and thin and built procession and have gathered, acquired wealth belongings and wealth of knowledge. We as well as want to have use of our belonging we also feel certain of our knowledge we comfortably can mechanise and recipe them into functional products and, or well satisfying out let.
When our reproduction are signalling minor signs of immaturities, or we see them as inexperienced or not quite ready to manage alone yet, here our emotional attachment and sense of helping and caring comes to grip on tightly too. It’s the  sense of contribution. Example, making contribution for betterment towards entire planets well being plays adding as strongest factor. The faith is also, another factor  give you fear of hereafter, are we ready or not to face there, so we cling to strive  hard to live for longer.
Death is inevitable and this leaves with sorrow of loss for others.  Grief is a hard concept. The reality that is  we  do end up  grieving forever. We  do not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one, we  do learn to live with it. We do heal sooner or later, and we  rebuild ourselves around the loss we have faced and suffered. We become whole again though we  will never be the same again because cannot be the same, neither would we fully want to be same again. The loss keep hindering over and again in us.  It’s matter of degree of love, bond and attachment there in  between individuals and the relation level.
Truth is, it can be for some cases its easier for mature people coping with loss of parents and although its not happy thing its taken as resting in piece after long elderly suffering age.  It harder  to bear  the loss of   younger ones, loss of  the youngsters and children for parents, its devastatingly killing painful, I presume, surely unbearable. (My personal experience of grieving of loss of father, was  real hard hit. Felt unacceptable). It’s different in different case, situation and family and deceased last life states,  all makes the difference of how the nearest and dearest ones do take  it as, how they cope and how hard  they are hit by it.
Bereavement is a severe stage in ones life, its time scale is more or less depends on not only personality of individual who faced the loss or their emotional strength level, its also matter of the relation and its co-dependency, the share of hopes and wishes,  the closeness of relationships, and emotional degree of bond what determine the bereavement period for one to over come the shock of 1st stage of wave of loss. Faith certainly play as a spring of passing air.
Fear of self death is very unpleasant, its includes of detachment of belonging, the loved ones and their grieving and feeling of their  falling in need on your absent, such thoughts cause pain.  Then faith plays  in it about the next stages after the death and the final consequences of believed  destiny, for example of hell and punishment comes as the fear also.
Individuals do accept self death if they are certain type of certain cancer patient or having other life threatening illness. And some people in some cases, individuals  do plan to sort out their finances and belongings, distribute them, however, often its impossible to do as we harbour hope within us, uncertain of death is nearing, denying and emotionally sensitive.
I am absolutely unprepared  for my death yet as I presume its in long distance still.
Fatema Miah,Solihull, UK.        fatemamiah@mail.com