Monday, March 19 , 2018, 2:20 pm | Fair 67º


Randi Rabin: How Can I Overcome Being Scared to Death of Dying?

Dear Feelings Doctor: I am scared of dying. I am even more scared of my beloved husband dying. Both of us are “older” (I am 50 and he is 60), but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life secretly freaking out about this.

— Scared in Santa Barbara

Dear Scared: Thanatophobia, the fear of death, is something that everyone feels in their own way at one time or another. Actually, a little bit of fear does keep us on the safe side, providing it doesn’t occupy our entire day.

If you and your husband have not had checkups lately, perhaps you should do so, then mark that worry off of your list. Your doctor can ease your mind and determine whether it is a symptom or an actual anxiety that you are dealing with.

The challenge is to focus on what you wish your life to be like and express yourself in that direction. When your fears of death and dying come up, simply be a witness to those feelings; do not let those thoughts run your life. Ask yourself, “What am I really afraid of?” “Could I be afraid of living?”

Dear Feelings Doctor: I have a wonderful sister. She is 4 years older than me, and I wish that we could have the type of relationship that we used to. She sits alone in her apartment reading all the time, goes to work, comes home and does the same thing all over again the next day.

I am having my 30th birthday next month and want her to be a part of my celebration. How can I make her enjoy me like I want to enjoy her? Thanks so much.

— Sherry in San Francisco

Dear Sherry: It has been said that you can pick your friends but you cannot pick your family. Whether you believe it or not, if your relationship with your sister is important to you, make an effort to reach out. Invite her to coffee first to open the door again for a new beginning. Focus on rebuilding your relationship, spending time reconnecting. If that goes well, make plans for lunch and continue your discovery of each other in a healthy, new way.

You mentioned that your sister enjoys reading; perhaps the two of you can start your own book club! We cannot force anyone to like us, that is something that will come naturally or not. It is such a sweet gesture. Hopefully she will be touched by your genuine desire to reconnect and extend her hand — and her heart — in your direction.

Sisters are one of the most magical gifts ever given. Blessings to you both.

Dear Feelings Doctor: It feels like a lifetime that I have been living with my girlfriend and not being open with my family about our love. Now that things have changed in our society, please help me with advice on how to share our love with my parents and siblings. Thank you so much.

— April in Santa Barbara

Dear April: To honor who we are in this world in hopes that everyone we love will be accepting of our choices may disappoint us sometimes. Nevertheless, we must be true to what and who we are. In doing so, we must understand that our loved ones and friends also need to be true to who and what they believe in. Sometimes those things take longer than other times to figure out.

One thing remains constant: The safety and happiness of a child is what a parent hopes and dreams of most of all. Here’s to everyone living happily ever after.

Imagine this ...

In This House

most of the time
We always forgive
We keep our promises
But above all
... WE LOVE.

Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.

— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >