a living death

living death

A life full of pain or suffering. It's a shame that some men treat marriage and family life like a living death. If I ever lost my independence due to injury or illness, it would be a living death. I don't like relying on other people.
See also: death, living

a living death

If someone's life is described as a living death, their quality of life is extremely poor. For nearly four years he has lain in a coma, trapped in what one doctor described as a `living death'. To be betrayed as you were betrayed is a living death.
See also: death, living
References in classic literature ?
Yet one doubt Pursues me still, least all I cannot die, Least that pure breath of Life, the Spirit of Man Which God inspir'd, cannot together perish With this corporeal Clod; then in the Grave, Or in some other dismal place, who knows But I shall die a living Death? O thought Horrid, if true!
Now all is gone and wasted, for a life Without life's joys I count a living death. You'll tell me he has ample store of wealth, The pomp and circumstance of kings; but if These give no pleasure, all the rest I count The shadow of a shade, nor would I weigh His wealth and power 'gainst a dram of joy.