Have you ever had surgery? If so, did they put you to sleep?
Surgery is a simulation of death. We fear surgery for the same reasons we
fear death. We fear losing consciousness, losing control, not waking up.
Notice the people who are on gurneys being pushed to surgery. Their heads are
erect, off the pillow. No matter what they say, they are frightened. They fear
that they are being pushed to their death – feet first.
Sometimes when I am with people prior to surgery, I get them to pray the old
childhood prayer: "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."
Somehow it helps.