It’s hard for many people to imagine dealing with death without the comfort of religion, but it’s entirely possible to consider our own mortality without feeling depressed about it.
This excellent video from Humanists UK, narrated by Stephen Fry, offers a brief introduction on how to do that:
I really appreciated this passage (written by the group’s leader Andrew Copson):
… if life were eternal, wouldn’t it lose much of what gives it shape, structure, meaning and purpose?
Think about reading a good book or eating a delicious cake. These may be great pleasures, but one of the things that makes them pleasures is that they come to an end. A book that went on and on forever, and a cake that you never stopped eating, would both soon lose their appeal.
Death is a natural part of life. It makes sense for us to try not to be afraid of this, but instead to come to terms with it.
Among other issues, Humanists UK has actively fought to legalize assisted dying in order to make sure people who are suffering can end life on their own terms.