Nobody who has died has been able to come back to tell us about it, so it is impossible to know whether dying hurts. But people who have had near-death experiences those whose hearts have stopped, for instance, but were later restarted have only good things to report. Most tell of a peaceful sensation of floating above their bodies. A number also describe traveling through a tunnel toward a beautiful light or having loving meetings with friends and relatives who have died before them. Scientists know that when a person is in a state of very low oxygen often a condition that precedes death he or she experiences feelings of euphoria, or great happiness. So as far as we know, the act of dying is not painful at all.
What is often painful for dying people is the thought of leaving behind their family and friends. They may also be sad at the thought of never again doing the things they love about life, like watching sunsets, or gardening, or going to the movies. In addition, they may be afraid because they are uncertain about what awaits them after death.
Still, many sick people welcome death. The same wonders of medicine that have allowed people to reach old age have also enabled them to live through long, and sometimes painful, illnesses. Often, death is seen as a welcome end to pain, both for the ill person and for the family and friends who have watched their loved one suffer. People with strong religious faith, too, may fear death less because they believe they will journey to a better place.