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Are you afraid of dying?

It’s not a crazy question. As a matter of fact, I think fear of dying is very common. I would go as far as to say that discomfort with talking about death, is one of the main reasons people don’t buy life insurance.  (More on this later.)

But what exactly are people afraid of?

Is it the actual experience of dying, of losing our body?

Is it the impact our death would have on others – our family, friends, business associates?

Is it having regrets, unfinished business… stuff we should have taken care of, but never got around to – and now it is too late?

I am sure that if you asked people to get to the bottom of their fear of death, they would come up with one or more of these reasons. It all depends on how they have lived.

And that is the key.

This is a lesson I learned from my father.

He had spent many years in the life insurance business. Like any salesman, he had to grapple with rejection. Why weren’t people buying from him? There are always general reasons that pertain to all industries, but there are also some that have to do with your particular marketplace.

And life insurance is very unique in that it deals with people dying. Maybe that had something to do with why people didn’t want it?

My father put it this way:

“It’s not that people are afraid of dying. Who really knows what that’s like? It’s that people are afraid of living – of taking chances, of taking on risks, of going for it.”

“The prospect of dying makes them realize that when their final day comes, they will have done very little with the time they were given. Not much to show for it. Nothing to be proud of.”

“That realization scares the heck out of them. So rather than do something about it, they hide their head in the sand and not think about it. They pretend that death is something that happens to other people.”

True that. And that of course means that living is something that happens to other people too – to people who try to make the most out of life.  Yet to them, having lived a full life, death is not so scary.

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