We have always feared death. We have always been taught it was almost a moral precedent, something that indeed we should fear. But the question we have to ask ourselves is why? It seems petty sometimes to fear death. It would seem from such fear there is nothing tangible to gain. There is nothing that is even worth dwelling on, nothing even worth fixating upon. Yet we continue to do it. We will not learn, we will not gain anything from fearing death. We are born from death. We are born from the very root of tragedy.
In many religions we have a soul that transcends death, and that soul will then carry out into the next life. This is known as reincarnation, a process in which the body may falter, the body may degrade, but the soul will merely find a new vessel. So if one chooses to believe that, then death is only a means of a new life.
Death is only a new venture for one to take. Of course other religions have their own sets of beliefs regarding death. Many Christians of varying sects believe in Heaven and Hell. If you are good you go to Heaven, if you are immoral or harm others, you go to Hell. Heaven is supposed to be a paradise, while Hell is supposed to be eternal suffering. Paradise that we struggle to fathom, suffering that we struggle to imagine.
By logic inherent in Christianity (though these beliefs are not exclusive only to Christians), then death indeed is not something to fear. Why should you as long as you are a good person? If you are moral, if you have not committed ill then death is your reward. Life is just the vessel you enact your transcendence to Heaven. So if you are a good person, as you should be, then you should not fear death. The Christian belief gives a meaning to life, and death. You serve as a vessel to the next life- and you should help others to ascribe them to a higher fate. Such is the idea of conversion to Christianity, and other religions as well.
Now how should one take this into themselves? How should one apply this to themselves? How should one rationalize the right path in life, and to fear, or not to fear death? It all comes down to a set of beliefs. It all comes down to which of these sets of beliefs you choose to hold true to your own identity. It depends if you chose to be Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, Buddhist or Hindu, amongst others. As somewhere between an Atheist and an Agnostic how am I supposed to take this notion of death? How am I supposed to accept it as a part of myself? I fear death. That is not something I even attempt to deny. That is something that I always believe will be with me. That is something that will transcend my life eternally.
Because my set of beliefs lead me to believe that when I die there is no salvation. There is nothingness. And within that nothingness there is no hope. There is no despair. It will be destitute. It will be absent. There will be no thought. There will be no sorrow. There will be no love. There will be nothing to fear. There will be pure nonexistence, and with that I will only float into the abyss, cold and alone. That is why I fear death, and that is why I can never forsake these beliefs.