Of course we're all going to die one day, and we become so adept at ignoring or obscuring that unalterable reality that it's easy to become impatient with someone who's facing up to their own mortality. A voice in each of us says, "What's so special about you? What about me?" So the person who can look you straight in the face as you name the truth of your own mortality isn't just crossing a barrier of intimacy, they're resisting a childlike insistence that all the attention should be on them. That's what it means to be a companion -- being with someone as they face how bad things really are and not changing the subject or drawing attention back to yourself.
Be Not Afraid