For someone who calls himself a Christian, I have always had a more-or-less morbid fear of death. That is one reason I wound up on this forum - sort of like Rod Stewart, who had similar issues and decided to take a job as a gravedigger for a while as a sort of therapy.
I guess it is not the dying that I fear so much as the prospect of no longer being me with all of my senses and faculties.
Anyway, I had to call the rescue squad when I woke up in middle of the night with an acute asthma attack and could not get my breathing under control. It was about all I could do at the time to gasp into the phone that I could not breathe and I had unlocked the door so that the EMTs could get in.
Now I was mildly suicidal at the time (yeah I know, that doesn't fit with the above, but that is how I am wired), so maybe that and oxygen deprivation account a little for what I experienced - but at that moment, I most assuredly wanted to live.
I was sitting sort of half slumped over my desk, exactly where I am now, and I thought "well, this is as good a place to die as any, but I suppose I'd best try to stay alive until help arrives." So I started praying the Lord's Prayer under what little breath I still had. (I don't know the rosary by heart since I'm not Roman Catholic, and I had too much time to kill for a simple "Father into your hands I commend my spirit".) All at once I felt a tremendous sense of calm come over me, almost to the point of getting giddy. I remember coming to "forgive us our . . ." and I chuckled because I couldn't decide whether it should be "debts" or "trespasses", so I did one of each.
SO after I had prayed the "Our Father ..." for I don't know how many times, the door burst open and the EMTs were there. I felt kind of resentful at first because everything had just been so peaceful and quiet, and now there were four strangers in my living room giving me an IV and oxygen and hooking me up to every machine known to man.
I am no longer the least bit suicidal - although antidepressants may have a hand in that.
I am also not nearly as afraid of dying as I used to be after this dress rehearsal.