This might be a silly question but has anyone else gained an extreme fear of death since having their stroke?

Alice, When I had my stroke, I thought I was dying and that part of me had already left my body. Then ‘I’ came back. On my first night home I told my partner I was going to die that first night. I didn’t and the fear eased. However, two and a half years on I am nearly 75 so recently, I have thought about Death a lot, especially as my sister in law has just of cancer at the age of 63. However, Death is not so fearful. My affairs are in order and my conscience is clear.

When I was in hospital my partner said he did not think he could live alone if I  died  and I said he must not. A month or so ago, I reiterated this , but told him if he found someone not to be an ‘old fool’ and go for someone more interested in money than in him. I will not raise the topic again.

My frustration comes from the fact that as I grow older, I am unsure how much I can improve. My mobility is there, but still limited. I have to reconcile disability and age with the happy memories of what I could do. I still have the memory of long countryside walks, going up mountains and being free to go where I wanted.

I am a Quaker and we believe in doing good in this life, rather than thinking there is Life After Death where all will be sweetness and light and Heavenly choirs. Over the last six or seven years, several longtime friends, men and women, have died and I miss them. Be that as it may, I still have Life and there are still things I can do. I hope you will learn to love Life rather than fear Death. Life after  Stroke is hard, but not unbearable.

Post will not edit, but the word ‘died’ is missing twice in my post.

Dear Alice

Wise John has said it all.

I began to die on the first morning. The klaxon was screaming, the crash team descended out of nowhere and I left my body and started to travel. Then I was back. Crash team were discussing what the nurse should do.

Here I am 34 months later and still in the land of the living.

What I also encountered was an irrational fear of a second stroke. Logic went out the window, my brain was telling me not to have another stroke. Thats just instinct. I also shuddered when I thought about the spot that I crumpled on to. And for six weeks slept with a light on.

All this eased in a few weeks.

I needed counselling to offset the post trauma shock and bless the NHS team they got me the counselling. I wouldnt have thought to do that.

In a word, yes. There was an extreme fear. Many other SS have mentioned this in the past couple of years.

If it doesnt leave you soon then seek counselling. They will help you through it.



Hi John

Thank you for highlighting this - I will get this sorted.

Many thanks


I would say having my stroke was the biggest shock of my life and made me realise that we are all vulnerable and not to take life for granted. My Mum and Dad lived to ripe old ages. My Dad at 85 and Mum at 94.  From the moment my Dad passed away, my Mum regularly said she was looking forward to death and gave up on life.  As a family, this was hard to take as she lived for so many years after.  We found it hard to accept that we weren't even considered to be worth living for.  

I always envisaged that I would live a long, healthy life as I was so healthy and longevity runs in the family.  I have always feared death since an early age.  We can't escape it.  As they say "you're born, you die but it's what happens in between that counts"  The first thing I did as soon as I felt able was to write a letter of wishes and planned my funeral. I also wrote letters to my husband and my daughter telling them how much I loved them and shared our happiest memories.  I felt this was so important because I had nothing from my Mum and Dad afterwards. Morbid some might say but I felt so much better afterwards knowing that if I went first, my family knew exactly what to do with nothing to worry about.  I already had a will so it was just a choice of choosing flowers, songs etc.   As Jeff says as long as your affairs are in order and you have a settled mind, there is more to life than worrying about death so live it while you can.

I have always had an irrational fear of death. As a child I went through a prolonged phase of being scared to go to sleep in case I didn’t wake up. I don’t like thinking about it and the thought of one minute being her and the next you’re gone is too big concept to contemplate. After my stroke I tried very hard not to think about it but the fear returned. I was and am still petrified it will happen again but I refuse to think about it because it’s too much. As is the prospect of losing abilities and my mind not functioning as it was. It’s made me realise that it very easily could’ve been so. Something which is hard to deal with especially as I was healthy with no problems such as heart, cholesterol, blood pressure etc and I don’t smoke or drink either. I’m not sure where I’m going with this other than I agree with what others have said- concentrate on being alive and living not about what ifs. X

I'd like to be able to think like the others and have a positive attitude about it but i am the same as you. Even thinking about it for as much as 5 seconds makes me panic and left feeling sick with worry about every aspect of dying. I don't understand how anyone can get their head around it x

Hi Alice, you may have already written this on a previous post, but have you ever been offered counselling?  It's so horrible to face something that causes such distress, maybe there is something that can help, CBT maybe, but I would think there is a therapy that may ease your worries and help you to look forward to good things happening.  

I hope you can find help with this and overcome these feelings - very good luck x

I wonder if we worry about the people we love and them being without us. 

Thethoughtof life going on without me is unbearable. It does make me wonder how people make their peace with it. It’s funny really because whatever happens we won’t know about it lol so all the worrying and angst only matters while we here . I guess that’s why it’s not worth another moment worrying about it. Xx

I'm not sure what it is just the unknown really. Not knowing what happens after whether there's life after death or just simply nothing. I try to think about it as little as possible. Just creeps back into my mind without me knowing. Thanks for the good advice x

I tried counselling after I had a clot in my lung a few years ago but it didn't change my way of thinking. I'd be willing to give it another go though. Or get someone to hypnotize me lol thanks x

I once had hypnotherapy, but it gave me very vivid and alarming dreams, I screamed rather a lot and scared my husband because he could never decide whether or not he should wake me up, (or put a pillow over my head!!)

You never know whether you might be more receptive now to an intervention of some kind, even something simple like breathing/relaxation techniques??

Take care x

Hey lovely girl, you are so young to have had this happen to you, how could you not be scared of death, you have a young child and a baby, who would want to leave that? 

When I was told I'd had a Stroke rather than a TIA I cried, I've 2 young girls who I don't want to leave. 

My mum was 50 when she died of cancer and my Dad died 3 years ago while on holiday in Lanzarote of a heart atrack at the age of 64.

The thought of dying fills me with fear, I try not to think about it but you can't block it out entirely. I still have a bag packed incase I have another stroke, irrational and certainly not healthy but still.... 

I like the idea of writing letters to loved ones, make a video and take lots of photos!! Because nobody knows what's round the corner and it may help ease your mind where your little ones are concerned. 

Sorry for the long message lol, big Big hugs xxxxx

Hi dizzybug. I watched a TV programme a long while ago about parents making memory boxes for their children so they had happy things to look at after the parents had passed away.  I got a big cardboard box and put my daughter's childhood things in. Silly little things like her favourite book that I used to read to her in bed, tap dancing shoes, baby rattle, locks of hair etc. I know this will give her comfort because a lot of things I've kept from her childhood she doesn't even know I've kept so she'll get some nice suprises!  Videos are a good idea but technology changes so quickly these days there is always the risk it might not be possible to play it whereas letters are forever.

That's very true, hadn't thought about technology changing. We've got lovely videos of my parents and school plays that need to be put on disc. I really wish my mum had wrote letters, so we had something to hold on to. Very soon after her terminal cancer diagnosis both my sisters found out they were pregnant so she knitted for them, my then husband couldn't have children but she said she'd knitted for me anyway as believed I would have a baby one day. She was right, we couldn't find my things though so thought she hadn't done it then my Dad came across a shoebox a while before my 2nd child was born, she'd knitted a hat, xardi and booties and bought a rattle to go in there. Broke my heart but meant the absolute world x

What a lovely post... just off to wipe my eyes now!

Hi Alicerose,

yes, and I was beginning to think it was only me. What hasn’t helped is my age. If I was 15 to 20 years younger, maybe I’d cope better, but knowing you’ve only got a short time left doesn’t help. To try and get on I’ve organised my life, tidied up loose ends and simplified things for when I’m not around. I do try to remain positive in attitude telling myself that I’m thinking these things because I’m a SS. Even people close to me say, within a  month or two things will get better? I must admit I’m beginning to wonder? but I have to say I hadn’t had any of these feelings before my stroke. We must stay strong and support each other!

Ps.I find that being in other people’s company helps, together with being in crowded places, I don’t like being left alone, so I also try to keep busy.




strangely enough, for me it's more like a kind of acceptance of the inevitable, knowing that it will probably occur sooner than i'd  anticipated.

i find myself imagining what it will be like and what kind of death i'd prefer and i'm sort of mentally preparing for it.

I am more aware of death especially as a gentleman passed away in the ward on my second night in hospital. I don’t have a fear but I am more determined to recover fully. 

It was the look on the faces of my kids when they visited me in hospital, all wired up. I’ve always been well, never a sick day. Non smoker, good diet, reasonably fit. Little bit overweight. Then bang. That’s my motivation to get better. Every day at a time