Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Morbid Thoughts

(156 Posts)
Sebstar Tue 05-Mar-19 12:08:03

I am 71 and my husband is 72. I constantly think about death. I can't enjoy the present because of worrying about what could lie ahead. I can't talk to my husband about this because he is a live for today sort of person. Does anyone else feel this way and if so how do you deal with it.

gillybob Tue 05-Mar-19 12:16:01

I feel like you Sebstar and I am “only” 57 !

It’s not that I don’t know we are all going to die at some point, I just worry how my family would manage without me . I do a lot of childcare, school runs, looking after my elderly father and other family members and seriously worry how they would manage if I died . My 2nd husband died very young so why not me ? I’m not special. Like you I don’t seem to be able to enjoy my life for this permanent cloud hanging over me .

Urmstongran Tue 05-Mar-19 12:16:21

Sometimes I get upset to think I’ll only have a limited amount of time with our grandchildren especially as baby is only just 2y. It’s saddens me.
But then I think ‘what if someone were to guarantee you another 50ys would you take it?’ and my answer would be ‘no’.

No pleasing some people is there?

MiniMoon Tue 05-Mar-19 12:19:50

Hello Sebstar. I think you need to visit your GP and talk this over with him/her. You seem to be suffering from mild depression in my opinion.
I'm 68 and have none of those thoughts.
I do wonder if there is an afterlife, from time to time, but not about death or dying.
I hope you get help soon, and these thoughts are banished.

sodapop Tue 05-Mar-19 12:32:17

I think about it from time to time Sebstar but if its constantly in your thoughts maybe you need some help. Talk to your GP you may be depressed or unduly anxious.
I find it helpful to set aside a short period of time to concentrate on my worries ( not near bedtime) then I put my concerns aside until the next time. Get some help/counselling so you can enjoy your life.

KatyK Tue 05-Mar-19 12:35:10

I'm the same. Hope you can feel better.

EllanVannin Tue 05-Mar-19 13:54:43

I will myself to stay alive and tell myself that I must be around for certain events and before you know it, you're still here and so many years have passed !
I AM very lucky and realise that there aren't that many great-grannies looking forward to the 13th birthdays of twins in June this year.
I do have a few medical problems going on but try not to worry about them because I want to look ahead and I think that if you go down that road of wondering if you'll still be around it affects both your physical and mental health and you start feeling " down "------I've done it myself and it doesn't do you any good at all.

It's not in my nature to sink into a decline for long anyway as I give myself a good talking to and snap out of it. I haven't reached my years for nothing so I can carry on for a few more years yet----for the sake of everyone else. Having the family spurs you on and the dogged determination that nothing's going to beat you ( illness )

I used to inwardly get the fears in the past when I was hospitalised a couple of times for atrial fibrillation but even then took it as a " blip " and blamed old age but I've survived and kept taking the tablets. It's all about attitude.

If thoughts of death take over your life, talk to the GP !

grannyactivist Tue 05-Mar-19 14:05:45

Sebstar you are describing what many people experience. I think about death very often because I'm a Chaplain and I often meet with dying people. I have found that many, many people keep their thoughts to themselves and then it becomes, as you describe, a great weight they carry around - left unaddressed it may even become a phobia. When I give people opportunities to talk about their fears and worries they are often able to manage or even let go of these thoughts. I suggest you ask to speak to a friendly local vicar/minister and if you don't feel you could do that then maybe just talk through your feelings with a friend.
This link may help you to understand a little of what is going on:

BlueBelle Tue 05-Mar-19 14:07:33

Sebsrtar I have my moments when I do think how it will happen, if I ll be a nuisance, if it ll be painful, will I know what’s happening, will it be a scary transition I also worry about my family I leave behind I don’t have the comfort of believing in an after life, I hope, but don’t really think

I don’t think this is depression it’s catastrophing Are you thinking even in company or when you re doing nice things I do think it’s fairly common as we get older

Try to keep your brain occupied with other things and when the thoughts come into your brain chuck them out and think of something else they will come back so throw them out again, keep doing that until they die down to an acceptable level which is now and then

Sebstar Tue 05-Mar-19 14:38:43

Thank you for all your replies.

midgey Tue 05-Mar-19 16:21:42

I had a friend who would tell me briskly that the graveyard was full of indispensable people!shock. I do hope you feel better soon.

NotTooOld Tue 05-Mar-19 17:20:18

I, too, often worry about the actual transition from life into death. Will I be conscious right up to the end, will it be painful, even 'what if I can't do it?', the latter being the most stupid. I find it best to stay as busy as possible and not allow myself to dwell on it.

aggie Tue 05-Mar-19 17:23:11

I sat and held his hand as my Jim died , he was very peaceful

Gonegirl Tue 05-Mar-19 17:24:01

'what if I can't do it?'

Suit me fine that would. grin

lovebeigecardigans1955 Tue 05-Mar-19 17:27:30

I think about death from time to time and what worries me (if I allow myself to think about it too much) is either dying alone or losing my faculties.
We have to try to make the best of living so that when death comes we have no regrets, or not too many - and can say we've had a full life.
If you worry about it obsessively perhaps you need to talk to someone. Hope you feel better soon.

Gonegirl Tue 05-Mar-19 17:28:46

My post there was in response to NotTooOld.

lemongrove Tue 05-Mar-19 17:36:27

I think it’s natural to think about it as we age, either for ourselves or our DH.Since we have never been old before (!)
We don’t really know what to think, how to think, or if it’s only us who think this way ( it isn’t.)
We can make a will, and think about funeral plans ( if needed) but other than that, and that death is inevitable, it’s best not to dwell on it, especially in the wee small hours.

Cherrytree59 Tue 05-Mar-19 18:14:00

Gilly I feel exactly the same, if I went tomorrow I worry how my family would manage.
As I'm also very hands on due of various health problems in my little family

I know they will cope because I did when my lovely Mum died at 54.
But I also know hard it wassad

I think that reaching 54 years of age actually caused me contemplate my own mortality.

My other fear is what Lovebeigecardigans touched on, which is losing my mental faculties.
My maternal grandmother suffered from Alzheimer and my Father Vascular dementia.

B9exchange Tue 05-Mar-19 18:34:00

I am not too worried about the actual moment of transition, volunteering in a hospice I am aware that for most people that follows a period of loss of consciousness. I do hope that pain relief if needed will be sufficient. But I suppose I do mentally keep counting down - will I have 15 or 20 years left? How much of my savings can I afford to spend this year? Will my DH go first, and will I cope if he does? Will I keep my mental faculties?

When we are younger we have big events to look forward to - careers, marriage, birth of children, even birth of grandchildren. But after a certain age there isn't that long term view, we have to be content with a limited amount of time left, and not looking that far ahead, which is an adjustment. I don't think this is morbid, it helps to plan, decluttering, making wills etc. For those of us who have a bit of a tendency to want to control everything, this is the one thing we cannot control, so naturally a bit frustrating!

Framilode Tue 05-Mar-19 19:04:48

It's not death itself but the manner of death. I read somewhere that every year we pass what will be the anniversary of our death. If you could know the date of your death would you want to? I would.

Grandma70s Tue 05-Mar-19 19:08:35

I’m more worried about living too long than I am about dying.

Grandma70s Tue 05-Mar-19 19:11:17

That’s an interesting thought, Framilode. Yes, I would like to know when I’ll die.

notentirelyallhere Tue 05-Mar-19 19:12:20

I think I understand Sebstar, not least because I have now passed the age at which my parents died. Is there something like that which is worrying you? Have you heard of Death Cafes? There are lots in the UK now, they are intended to be places people can gather to have tea and cakes and to talk about any aspect of death which bothers them. There are two near me which meet monthly and I've found them very helpful, all kinds of people and all kinds of discussion. Here's a link to the UK website where you can read more or see if there's one near you:

Fennel Tue 05-Mar-19 19:17:37

Like some of you others, I don't fear death now. I think of it as a transition between this world and whatever follows.
My concerns are more for my family left behind. We're not well organised. Work needs to be done.

Day6 Tue 05-Mar-19 19:21:59

Yes, Sebstar I have the same thoughts too.

I have lots of ailments, some more serious than others and with every scan I have I wonder if the doc will tell me it's 'curtains'.

I also worry that something will happen to my chap. We have been so happy for 15+ years. He's been my knight in shining armour after a dreadful marriage and a life of such anxiety and fear - decades of utter misery which tested me to the limit. He has his faults, we all do, but he is my hero.

I never take him for granted, or indeed the days granted to me. Live for the day is such ise advice but it's so hard to do. I do try to capture and appreciate all the magic moments, all the bits of happiness, and know I am very lucky and appreciate having them.

I try not to worry about what tomorrow will bring either. What's the point. Two things I do

1) Live in the moment, treasuring all the good things - a sort of counting of my blessings.
2) Keep my mind occupied, otherwise it overthinks absolutely everything.

Please try to find enjoyment in life, blessings, rather than fearing tomorrow. We cheat ourselves of precious life otherwise, don't we?