Actually the whole business of living other than the animalic part, is denying death.
So the idealism you are seeking by not denying death is itself a denial of death.
The human animal is the only animal that knows it is going to die. (Sartre)
As a result we fear death but not necessarily consciously:
If this fear [of death] were as constantly conscious, we should be unable to
function normally. It must be properly repressed to keep us living
with any modicum of comfort. We know very well that to repress means
more than to put away and to forget that which was put away and the
place where we put it. It means also to maintain a constant
psychological effort to keep the lid on and inwardly never relax our
The only way to constantly repress this fear, is self-esteem:
Self-esteem provides a buffer against death-related anxiety.
The fact that religion is part of our nature makes salvation a universal desire:
Every society thus is a "religion” whether it thinks so or not: Soviet
“religion” and Maoist “religion” are as truly religious as are
scientific and consumer “religion,” no matter how much they may try to
disguise themselves by omitting religious and spiritual ideas from
their lives. As we shall see further on, it was Otto Rank who showed
psychologically this religious nature of all human cultural creation;
and more recently the idea was revived by Norman O. Brown in his Life
Against Death and by Robert Jay Lifton in his Revolutionary
Immortality. (The denial of death, Ernest Becker)
Self-esteem is the umbrella for all the concrete forms of religion:
One's ego-ideal is his religion. The self-esteem is the
self-estimation of how much is the self-image consistent with the
ego-ideal. A higher self-esteem means a higher chance of salvation, thus less fear of death.
Now that you know that all the business of non-animalic living is due to the universal urge for the death denying factor self-esteem, you should live from the perspective of inevitability of this dreadful fact:
Either have sufficient self-esteem or suffer from the fear of death or
its endless manifestations.
Manifestations of death anxiety:
For behind the sense of insecurity in the face of danger, behind the
sense of discouragement and depression, there always lurks the basic
fear of death, a fear which undergoes most complex elaborations and
manifests itself in many indirect ways. No one is free of the
fear of death. The anxiety neuroses, the various phobic states,
even a considerable number of depressive suicidal states and many
schizophrenias amply demonstrate the ever-present fear of death which
becomes woven into the major conflicts of the given psychopathological
conditions. We may take for granted that the fear of death is
always present in our mental functioning.(Zilboorg)
Your urge for idealism is really an urge for self-esteem, but the problem is that constant confrontation of one with his own death results in ultimate despair, therefore by chasing this idealism, you are choosing despair as a source self-esteem.
It's okay to deny death since you can never completely become aware of it, because no matter what, there will be some self-esteem left, even in depression:
The torture of depressive psychosis: to remain steeped in one's
failure and yet to justify it, to continue to draw a sense of
worth-whileness out of it. (The denial of death, Ernest Becker)
Do not add to the guilt (the existential guilt) which is already inevitably there . Seek pleasure and high self-esteem. It's okay to escape: even the last one to tell you that which is Albert Camus, made worth out of his condition of being special because of realizing the truth of our existence and he did not choose to despair. he chose pleasure and had several girl friends at the same time.
[III] How to obtain "Self-esteem" ?
The features of genuine sources of self-esteem:
(A) Does not involve self-accusation as in depression.
(B) Does not involve self-inflation as in narcissism, where the self is a balloon with no real concretization for the self-esteem origin that can be approved by others. This is doomed to failure and the subject will swing back
The genuine origin of self-esteem must be concrete and objective so that it can be approved by others and therefore reflected from them:
If I were asked for the single most striking insight into human nature
and the human condition, it would be this; that no person is strong
enough to support the meaning of his or her life unaided by something
and/or someone outside himself or herself. (Angel in armor, Ernest Becker)
Whatever your own version of meaning of life (your origin of self-esteem) should be testified and shared by others.
What i mean by others is not necessarily the whole culture, but a sub-culture or even part of that would work.
This brings us to the Epicureans, which in addition to emphasizing the importance pleasure as a way to mask existential dread, they also emphasized friendship. Having a group of friends that share your answer for meaning of life (even if the answer is nil), will boost your self-esteem.