How Can I Overcome My Fear of Death?

I’m so afraid to die. How can I overcome this fear?

Our natural fear of death can intensify if we have recently lost a loved one, suffer from a serious illness or are in some way immediately faced with our own mortality. In the light of this very normal fear, the gospel message insists, again and again: “Do not be afraid.” God’s plan for us does not end in death. Rather, our earthly death is our resurrection to new life in Christ. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Surrendering to the unknown, especially at the end of life, requires a deep act of faith. Time in prayer and reflection may help you to find peace. Rather than seeking to overcome your fear, you might ask God to help you discover how to live with it. On the other hand, if you think that you need more serious help, ask at your parish for a referral to a qualified mental health professional.

Neela Kale is a writer and catechetical minister based in the Archdiocese of Portland. She served with the Incarnate Word Missionaries in Mexico and earned a Master of Divinity at the Jesuit School of Theology. Some of her best theological reflection happens on two wheels as she rides her bike around the hills of western Oregon.