Death May Be A More ‘Happier’ Experience Than We Imagine It To Be
Death is a natural part of life. But regardless of that fact, most people are afraid of it. And it’s probably not the fear of death per se, but rather the fear of the unknown that comes after it. Is there something else, or isn’t it, nobody knows. Nevertheless, it turns out that regardless of whether you believe in God or not, it doesn’t really matter as long as you actually believe in something. It seems that Atheists who are stout in their convictions are equally not afraid of it as those who do believe in God.
Now, in another study, and one that we will be discussing here, it turns out that being close to death is not as scary as thinking at the prospect of it. A YouGov survey has recently unveiled the fact that 68% of all people living in Britain fear death. But those people who are closer to death, don’t fear it as much.
The University of North Carolina analysed the blogs written down by the terminally ill, as well as the last few words of those on death row. Their thoughts and emotions expressed there are not so much about fear and anxiety as they are “filled with love, social connection, and meaning”, they said. The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.
Here they compared the words of the terminally ill to those who were asked to imagine themselves in that situation. The research team lead by Professor Kurt Gray used various algorithms in order to deduce the words and associate them with positive or negative emotions. They found that people who were actually close to dying had a more positive emotional tone, with their words more focused on meaningful subjects such as their family or religion for instance.
“When we imagine our emotions as we approach death, we think mostly of sadness and terror,” said Dr Gray. “Humans are incredibly adaptive – both physically and emotionally – and we go about our daily lives whether we’re dying or not.
“In our imagination, dying is lonely and meaningless, but the final blog posts of terminally ill patients and the last words of death row inmates are filled with love, social connection, and meaning.”