If I die before I wake


No this post is not about a prayer

I am not a religious person

But these words have been playing over and over in my head a lot lately

Yet I do not want to be a downer, so I have not really been talking about this much. Until now.

I am reading about so many people going to bed and not waking up. Mothers, fathers, celebrities etc. Some were healthy, some were not. All were very young and now gone before their time.

One night I read a story about a young father passing away in the night and his children finding him. The next three nights I woke up in a panic. I sat straight up in bed with my heart racing. Since then I am having a hard time falling asleep. I lay in bed and think. I think about life. I think about health and I think about my children. As I wait for my sleep clinic appointment I wish I could speed things up. But my appointment is still months away. I know I need to lose weight. I know I have a lot of stress. I think most people do these days

I had a few goods nights then a friend of the family passed away leaving her young children to mourn. A few days later I see Canadian born “Rowdy” Roddy Piper died from Cardiac arrest in his sleep. Having seen him in person a few times and many times on TV as a child, this saddened me. His death also added to my sleep anxiety situation.

I try to rationalize the things as my family has always lived long lives so I really have no reason to worry about dying in my sleep. But still these thoughts have been flooding my brain for weeks. I wake up exhausted and sad. I sometimes feel sick and drained.

I do not know how to move past this.

I have experienced anxiety before but this is different.

I am not a hypochondriac. I have an amazing immune system and am usually in good health.

I am afraid of dying. I wish I wasn’t but I am.

The more official name of the phobia where one fears dying is Thanatophobia. Thanatophobia is not always a phobia. Remember, nearly everyone fears death in some way. While some people fear it more than others, there is some degree of fear that is actually healthy. If you didn’t fear death, you may put yourself in many significant dangers.

I am taking steps towards living healthier but I am afraid that is not enough. I realize most of this is just in my head. I just wish I knew how to stop stressing about it and move on.

I am writing this post as I know I am not alone and hope that maybe one of you has a way to deal with this kind of anxiety. I hope the routine of the kids going back to school in a few weeks will help. I hope that losing weight will help relieve my health worries. Other than that, I am not sure what to do to have a normal nights sleep.

Any tips?


  1. Sending you hugs and lots of love. I have no real tips except that try to live in the moment. Kimmy Schmidt said it best when she said "Just count to 10 because you can do anything for 10 seconds" 🙂 xoxoxo

  2. I also fear dying and I crashed emotionally 3.5 years ago. I ended up in the ER convinced that I was dying. It was a panic attack (not the first one but certainly one of the worse). The ER Dr told me I needed to talk to a psychiatrist. A few days later, I was in the office of a wonderful woman who has changed my life. Yes, I take meds to help tame the demon and yes I still have panic attacks but this doctor has helped me learn how to cope.
    My biggest tip to you is to try to calm your brain before you go to bed. I listen to meditation app by Glenn Harrold. It helps me slow down my breathing and I can literally feel all the tension leave my body.
    You are not alone Kim. Many people suffer from this. Thank you for writing about it as we all support one another during their struggles. xo

  3. I grew up leaning to not be scared of death. From a very early age my parents, through their church attended funerals for many individuals who had past on, most through old age but some through accident.

    While it is not something I suggest for everyone, because it desensitizes a person to death, I also do realize how it can be beneficial. Especially when people I grew up with are dying and other acquaintances who are even younger then me. Add in the celebrities that are passing regular (some at a very young age) and I start to realize how fortunate I am that I became so used to it so early in life.
    My recent post Sometimes Autism Is Not All Roses And Sunshine

  4. Doris Calvert says

    No but let me tell you this a lot of us feel the same way and as we get older the worse it gets, now getting close to my mid 50s I think I am not healthy and old age is between about 72 so 17 years and I will be considered old enough, wow we are near the end, will I die alone, that's my biggest fear to die all alone,or in my sleep which is fine by me, no pain just go to sleep and never wake up. I am not ready to leave yet but a lot of days when the pain is real bad I pray to go,so I decided to live life the best I can and when it's my time I will not even know.


    My Dad died recently, at home, in his sleep, without pain or distress. Aged 82, he had overcome a lot of health problems, beating cancer just last year. His body had just had enough. He wrote a beautiful piece a week before aboout the incessant 'march of time' and I guess his time just marched on without him. We were so comforted by the fact that he had a peaceful death that it has carried us through the bad times but the house is so empty without his physical presence. Aged 82, Mum played the organ at his funeral, her tribute to the man she had shared her life with for 60 years.

    To worry is perfectly normal; we all age & grow older & eventually, just as day turns to night, we all die. It's as natural as breathing. Just as we celebrate new life we should celebrate death and the wonderful memories of a life well-spent. He was, as our postman commented, a big man with a big heart. You can't really ask for more, can you?

  6. I have always been afraid of death but as I get older i realize that no matter what, its going to happen. I just hope that I do die peacefully, in my sleep, that is what I want. Or instantly by crash so I don’t feel any pain. But for now, I live life to the fullest, life love laugh because you only do it once so enjoy, don’t sweat the little things, don’t stress yourself out, have a glass a wine a day and just enjoy. I told my kids I was going to live till I’m 100 at least so deal with it i told them. 🙂 love this story

  7. Louise @ allthepretty.co says

    I had terrible anxiety after my last son was born and often lay awake each night thinking I was either dying of something, there was a burglar in the house or the house would burn down. My heart would literally feel like it was pounding out of my chest. I’m kinda over it now, but last night was quite bad as I have an infection in my foot that I was convinced was going to kill me in my sleep and I was thinking what if my kids find me? Ugh, anxiety is the worst, but go to the doctors if it’s at the stage where it’s taking over your life. Hugs.

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