In this world, where the fortunate find themselves boxed away from reality, Thanatophobia (fear of death) is all too commonly nurtured, to the point that many people find themselves knocking on wood, tying every act to superstition, every fearful thought to the knowledge that some day we all become worm’s meat.
Death is inescapable. Of the many great phobias out there, it is the one that will always capture you in the end, and for many, the very thought is so disturbing that often it seems to usher itself in that much quicker with the stress and obsession it seems to create in the victim. Nothing so typifies this fear being realized in such a literal sense as the knight’s eternal struggle with death in Bergman’s classic film, ‘The Seventh Seal.’ A brave man encountering death, denying his fears and at the same time meeting them head on with something as mundane as a game of chess. Bravery, in fact, is the best way to face any fear, isn’t it?
The desire for immortality, the modern beautification and idealization of the vampire, our cultural obsession with an upcoming zombie apocalypse, the fact that if you ever bring death up in a general conversation you are pretty much guaranteeing that you’re the buzzkill of the year. We are all afraid of death, to some degree. Even for those who deny it, those who obsess with it, those who pursue it. Instinct itself demands that this fear shall always and ever be a constant until the very last man or woman takes his or her very last breath.