My client is terrified of death, how can I help them?

My client is terrified of death, how can I help them?

Here’s a sobering thought:

120 years from now, every person living today will no longer be alive. So, isn’t it interesting then how death is such a taboo topic in our society? We’re often gripped by fear at the mere mention of it, yet it’s an inevitable part of life for every living being. It’s a natural cycle of existence, yet we struggle to accept it.

Welcome to #AskMadelaine, where we fearlessly explore the questions swirling in your mind about life, the world, and our very existence. Have a burning question for Madelaine? Share it with us at, using the subject line “Modern Visdom” (it’s not misspelled—it’s Swedish for wisdom). We can’t wait to hear from you.

I believe it’s important for everyone to examine our relationship with death. So, let’s dive into three ways to do this, which will support you (and your clients) not only in changing how they see death but also how they see life:

1: What are they REALLY afraid of?

If a client is afraid of death, there are usually layers that need to be deciphered. Death and the fear of it present an opportunity for your client to connect with something deeper than their current state of mind. Start by getting curious about what they’re truly afraid of. Saying “I’m afraid of death” is a broad statement that requires exploration. What specifically are they afraid of? Is it the pain of dying, the idea of being left alone, or uncertainty about what happens after death? Exploring these fears can unveil deeply rooted beliefs and provide clues about their thought process. For instance, if they fear what happens after death, it opens the door to exploring spirituality and questioning existing beliefs. Near-death experiences and positive accounts from individuals who have faced death can also offer valuable insights. By delving beneath the surface, your client can embark on a journey of self-discovery and gain a new perspective on life and death.

2: Reframing

Sometimes, reframing death can alleviate fears and offer a fresh perspective. I often use the metaphor of a drop in the ocean to help clients understand their connection to something greater than themselves. Just as a drop merges seamlessly with the vast ocean, our essence transcends physical boundaries and continues to exist in a different form. Science supports this notion with the understanding that energy cannot be created or destroyed—it simply transforms. By viewing death as a transformation rather than an end, clients can embrace life more fully and appreciate its transient nature. Death is not the opposite of life but rather a part of the cycle, enriching our experience and giving significance to our existence.

3: Death cleaning… for life?

Hold on a minute, what’s the state of your home got to do with death? Turns out, quite a lot! In Scandinavian cultures like Sweden, death is not taboo but rather integrated into daily life. Practices like “death cleaning” encourage individuals to declutter their lives, not out of morbid anticipation of death but as a way to cherish the present moment and leave behind a meaningful legacy. By clearing physical and mental clutter, individuals can make space for what truly matters and live with intention. Embracing this concept means not only accepting the inevitability of death but also acknowledging its role in enriching life’s experiences and helping individuals appreciate life more deeply.

Encourage your client to explore their surroundings and consider what they’re hoarding in their lives. By letting go of unnecessary possessions and mental baggage, they can cultivate a sense of freedom and focus on what brings them joy and fulfilment. This process of “death cleaning” is about more than just tidying up; it’s a profound acknowledgment of the transience of life, prompting individuals to live authentically and with purpose. After all, by acknowledging the finite nature of life, one can truly appreciate its value and make the most of every moment.

As you can see, there are myriad ways to aid a client grappling with a fear of death. Fear of death does not have to be grim or scary but can mark the beginning of a profound journey into life’s mysteries and marvels. By encouraging them to confront their fears, shift their perspective, and embrace life’s fleeting nature, they can embark on a path of self-discovery. Through this exploration, clients can transform their relationship with death and live more deeply in the present moment.

🌿 I Frid, Madelaine

Exercises to try:

Want to dig deeper? Here are some exercises to help you:

1. Reflect on Your Fears: Take a moment to think about what exactly scares you (or your client) about death. Are you afraid of the pain of dying, being alone, or what comes after? Understanding these fears can help you navigate them better.

2. Reframe Death: Consider death not as an end but as a transformation. Just like a drop merge with the ocean, our essence continues in a different form. How does this perspective shift your view of death?

3. Practice Death Cleaning: Look around your space and identify physical and mental clutter that can be let go of. This practice, inspired by Scandinavian cultures, helps you clear space for what truly matters in life.

Give these exercises a try, either for yourself or with a client, to explore and transform your relationship with death.


PLUS – Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways we can work together:

  1. Sign up for one of our current courses at ASHC and get taught by my team of advisors and me. All our courses are internationally and nationally industry-approved and will equip you with all the tools to open up your own professional private practice.
  2. Apply for one of only three spots as my private client. Mentorship for Holistic Mental Health Practitioners (1), Mentorship for High Performers (2).

Share This:

Related Posts


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *