Confronting Fear of Death

I've got a video coming out in two weeks that addresses 4 psychological skills to face a fear of death and anxiety around dying. I decided to leave this allegory out of it, but instead share it here on my blog. I can’t find the original author, so if you know, leave it in the comments.


The Twins

I’m going to end on this allegorical story, about the conversation of a set of twins in the womb of their mother.


“Do you believe in life after birth?” one twin asked another.

“Yes, definitely! Inside we grow and are prepared for what will come outside,” answered the other twin.

“I believe that’s nonsense!” says the first. “There can’t be life after birth—what is that supposed to look like?”

“I don’t exactly know either. But there will certainly be much more light than in here. And maybe we will be walking about and eat with our mouths?”

“I’ve never heard such nonsense! Eating with the mouth? What a crazy idea. There is the umbilical cord that nourishes us. And how do you want to walk about? The umbilical cord is much too short.”

“I am sure it is possible. It’s just that everything will be a little bit different.”

“You are crazy! Nobody ever came back after birth. Life is over with birth. That’s it.”

“I admit that nobody knows what life after birth will look like. But I do know that we will see our mother then, and that she will take care of us.”

“Mother???? But you don’t believe in a mother, do you? Where is she?”

“She is here, all around us. We are and we live within her and through her. Without her we couldn’t exist at all!”

“Nonsense! I’ve never seen a mother, she doesn’t exist.”

The other twin says.“Yes, sometimes, when we are very quiet you can hear her sing, or feel how she caresses our world.”

So one of them went into a state of deep anxiety, asking: "If conception ends in birth, what meaning has life in the womb? It is absurd. Maybe there is no mother behind all this."

"But she must exist", the other protested, "otherwise how could we have got in here? And how could we survive?"


"Did you ever see our mother?" asked the first. Maybe she only lives in our imagination. We invented her, because in this way we can better understand our life."

And so the last days in the mother's womb were filled with thousands of questions and a great fear. Finally the moment of birth came.


When the twins left their mother's womb, their world, they opened their eyes.

They cried out.

What they saw was beyond their greatest dreams.


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