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So I decided to bite the bullet, look 80, 90, and 100-year olds in the eye, and ask them: "When people reach your age, they begin to realize that there are more years behind them than in front of them. What are your feelings about the end of life?" We discussed what they thought about dying and whether it concerned them and occupied their daily thoughts.
One question repeatedly entered my mind while listening to the interviews: Where's the terror? Because what the elders told me is that the intense, overpowering fear of dying is very much a young person's game. I did not detect denial from these elders but rather a matter-of-fact approach to dying and a willingness to discuss it and what it means.
The vast majority of our respondents described themselves as not thinking about death much, and much less so than when they were younger. It's true, by the way, that research shows lower death anxiety with advancing age. Nevertheless, I wasn't prepared for the comfort level most of the elders expressed about their own deaths. Here's how some them talked about their own mortality.
Kashai: Herr is the thing major religions throughout the world make clear that death is but a doorway or a veil that, keeps us whole after life. So what is the problem? Understandably dying before one reaches old age is a problem......but death is inevitable so why be afraid of it????
Kashai: I subscribe to the consideration that when we access past lives, we access the Collective Unconscious.
Where those in the past of similar temperaments seem parallel.