You can reply that only the people who take seriously their sensuality --- including opinions, ideas, speculations, fantasies, beliefs, compliance (or lack thereof) of some behavior with respect to these ideas, rules, fantasies ...) --- have faith that death dissolves any suffering, by claiming that there is nothing wrong with the sensuality beforehand, that having equanimity towards the senses is futile, and that, even if there is something wrong with caring so much about the sensuality, at the death cease this craving for sensual pleasure and this despite of sensual displeasure.
You can also add that the suffering seems more on the side of the persons who deal with the old person, than on the old person, by projecting their faith in sensuality on their speculative lack of sensuality seemed to be experienced by the old person. These people are right that being old and ''sick'' seems dreadful, but the solution to stop being old, sad and ill is not by death. Their speculation is natural and expected from any person having faith in her hedonism. The good news is that even if this faith is natural and stupid, it can be erased to make the ''suffering'' stop for good.
Here is the method to stop being miserable once and for all, instead of stopping the sadness for while à la hedonists:
The training is the calming the mind to prepare the person to see that ''dispassion towards sensuality is good '', (once the appetite for sensuality is no longer a drive, there is still something to stop caring about, but this is not important for a beginner), with the first effect being the attenuation of being attracted to thoughts. So the way to do this is first to watch typically the breath a few minutes, then when a distraction arrives, person recalls that having the monkey mind, day dreaming, thinking about past and future, expecting things, thinking about our losses, brings misery. Once done this, the person goes back to something grounding and pleasing (or non-harming) like the body or the breath (but at the beginning, watching the breath is not pleasing, and turns into boredom which becomes an excitement for ending the mediation), so one must stick to the body and watch how comfortable it is to be in contact with the material support (like a bed, after a day of being exhausted by manual labor) by relaxing any tension in the body (typically through the muscles).
generally, when the focus on the breath or the body is lost, the muscles of the face are tensed and they must be relaxed.
The most important point for mediation is that:
- the joy or pleasure makes the person focused (like in any other activity, if we enjoy an activity, then we do not think about hunger, about pains, about fatigue, about the future; the pleasure makes us keep doing what we are doing)
- but the pleasures which do not come from the senses is far better than the sensual pleasures (including the intellect), these pleasures arrive with first jhana (people fail to see this)
- the way to get this pleasure is first to calm the intellect which is done by seeing that having the monkey mind is displeasing and exhausting and it is not stopped by willing to stop it, then by keeping the focus on the body or breath and relaxing any tension
- the way to be moral, like some people say, is the first step to decrease the monkey mind [not lying, not building stories, not stealing, not getting into entertainment, sensuality as soon as we can, which is done by seeing that the fear of missing out on social life makes us miserable, and that there will be as much entertainment, opportunities to enjoy oneself tomorrow than there is today, so we can take a break for a while from of this entertainment]
Doing this ''meditation'' over and over will make the sadness disappear during the cession, even a bit afterwards, but once the mediation is not longer done for good, everything will turn back to what we live today. SOme normal persons use their faith in materialism to rely on drugs to achieve these states, and sooner or later, the effects disappear bringing a sadness.
The way to stop being miserable once and for all is to meditate and afterwards reflect on the source of this misery, by willing to end our misery once and for all, accepting any consequence that this brings [it turns out that the price is to stop ''enjoying'' pleasures through the 6 senses and to rely only on the jhanas].
For instance people claim that being hungry is suffering and that stopping people to feel hunger is to feed them. This is ineffective:
- get hungry
- get displeasure from hungriness
- may get pleasure from food
- get hungry again and still disliking it
- =>feeding is not the way to stop being hungry and being displeased by hungriness
Same thing with tiredness. People dislike tiredness, and they claim that sleeping is the way to stop being tired. this is false:
- get tired
- wake up
- get tired again
- =>sleeping is not the way to stop being tired
this is how we identify the way to see that whatever we did so far in life did not prevent us from feeling miserable; same for being ''miserable":
- be miserable
- reading a novel, daydreaming, painting, having a purpose, objectives, goals, whatever normal people do
- feel miserable again
- =>being entertained etc. is not the way to stop being miserable
as soon as the displeasure, the annoyance, the discomfort, the boredom, the pain come back, however small they are, we know that it failed whatever happened between the two times where we were annoyed and so we do not continue to do them, since our only goal is to stop being miserable once and for all. this is how to judge if an action, a speech or a thought is effective about stopping the misery
Following the doctrine begins when there is a ''will'' to stop being ''unhappy'', miserable, disappointed, no matter what the pleasures (and their costs) is experienced so far.
The ''harmless fun'', physical or not, that people crave is nice and if we get it without much work, then lucky us; but once the stupidity of relying on sensuality is seen, the person is not driven, towards anything, by the boredom, the pleasures nor pains, in daily life, nor even the ones of the jhanas, but the person is driven only towards the end of the faith in sensuality and becoming, and driven only by knowing that this method is the only thing relevant to do (for as long as the person is living).
Of course any normal person is driven, towards anything, by the current tastes, (which change sooner or later), by what is liked and what is disliked, by pleasures and avoiding pains and hardships (directly, or by constructing some story that being in pain, disappointments, hardships, predicaments are worth it or have some merit or are deserved).
This holds for the normal people who follow this method and for non-bodily drives, there can be faith-doubt(choose the word we see as negative), boredom in their life, tradition, curiosity, realizing their fantasy of becoming righteous, their fantasy of the knowledge of the ''true nature of reality''.
It turns out that, for normal persons, having non-physical pleasures makes the mind plastic, concentrated, still, non-agitated. Even if there remain some faiths in some god, in some boasting about the success of the jhanas, some faith in something else than the method, This mind is the ideal mind to meditate on the source of the misery and its extinction.
The students will have the healthy mind, since they are told to stop worrying (and are made so by being secluded and far away from all this hustle and bustle) about, being still towards ''social'' matters (typically some contests, hierarchies, like a career, a social fight), which is the basis for contemplating, the continuation of being still with respect to bodily pains/pleasures and boredom, before meditating on their misery ---- which really means ''there is the knowledge that there is still misery, no matter what has been done before'', then all there is the radical stop of being sad, whatever the consequences this would bring to this existence and there is their acceptation , there is only caring about no longer being unhappy; then there is the insight that ''there is misery, because there are not the objects desired (such as cars, heaters, foods, travels, being judged innocent in some trial, paying less taxes, having joy or pride of giving some pleasures to a few people, feeling relevant to some humans, expressing some opinions about something, claiming to be righteous, having dignity, believing to behave in agreement to some rules), but this misery happens only because there is a taking up of consciousness, feelings and all that stuff always impermanent, uncontrollable, not myself-me-mine, what people call ''ego'' or self casually, which did not give what was wanted before (not for very long) no matter how much effort is put to keep the good experiences; there is no longer a misery, once and for all, once there is no taking up of, taking as basis in those stuff always impermanent and uncontrollable, not myself-me-mine''; then the dispassion towards all those stuff happens which brings the knowledge of ''right view'' like some people say; then the natural and only relevant step to do is to contemplate-meditate to settle this right view once and for all and be done with the doctrine.
Before this meditation, The only ''sadness'' that there is is the knowledge that there is no contemplation carried out, yet needed to finish the path.