The most terrifying thought for most of us. Three simple words. We deal with the fear by redefining them.
There is no such thing as “You”
The Buddhists claim that the self is an illusion, the Universe is One, and therefore the death of self is impossible since there is no self.
Christians claim that there is an indestructible and eternal soul separate from the body which does not die. Here “you” is defined as two parts, body and soul, and death only affects the unimportant part, the body.
Confucionists take the family across generations as the object of interest so the death of a person is not tragic so long as the family line is preserved and the ancestors are kept alive in memory. Patriots make the country the vehicle of their immortality, racists the race, artist their art.
“Will” implies a linear time which does not exist
Cyclical theories, like reincarnation of individuals or rebirths of whole universes, escape death by claiming there are no timelines with endpoints but only circles.
End of time theories, like the Jewish Messiah and the Christian Second Coming say time is an illusion and past, present, and future will be abolished at the apocalyptic climax causing death which was intertwined with time to vanish as well.
“Die” implies an extinction which is impossible as all matter and energy simply change forms but never disappear.
This is the idea that since the elementary particles composing your body stay in the universe, as does the image of your existence moving at the speed of light farther and farther out forming your “event cone”, you never disappear.
Lincoln once asked “If we call a tail a leg, how many legs does a dog have?”
The guest answered, “Five.”
“No”, said Lincoln, “just four. Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it one.”