To Comfort the Dying, First Conquer Your Fears


Before you can help anyone who's facing death, you’ve got to deal with your own fears first.

“No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave.” (Psalm 89:48 NLT)

Before you can help anybody who is facing death, you’ve got to deal with the fears in your own life.

Death exposes the hidden fears in us. When we feel exposed, we typically hide. We’ve been doing it since Adam and Eve hid from God because of their nakedness.

What are the fears that you have with people who are dying?

Maybe you’re afraid you’re going to say the wrong thing. You’re afraid that you’re going to make matters worse. You’re afraid that you’re going to mess up. And as a result, you don’t do anything.

I can’t count the number of people I’ve been with as they took their last breath. I’ve watched many, many people die. Let me just put your mind at ease: It is almost impossible to mess it up. They already know they’re dying. Just by being there, you will make a difference.  

Contrary to Lifetime TV movies, there are very few “Hallmark” moments when people die. People don’t sit up in bed and say, “I love you!” and then die! It just doesn’t happen that way. There are very few grand statements or bold gestures.

Death is really quite ordinary. There’s nothing spooky about it. It’s not scary. It’s not weird. People just stop breathing. One moment they’re here, and the next they’re not.

The Bible says, “No one can live forever; all will die. No one can escape the power of the grave” (Psalm 89:48 NLT). The biggest mistake you can make with somebody who’s dying is simply not being there because you are afraid. Once you face your fears about death, you’ll be able to help a friend face their own fears when the time comes.

Talk It Over

  • What are your fears about witnessing death? Where do you think your fears come from?
  • Why do you think it’s so difficult for people to talk about death?
  • What does the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ say about death?


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