In popular culture, like movies, the Death card is often used for effect to symbolize – yup, you guessed it: literal, physical death. Which it almost never means in an actual reading. Serious interpretations view the Death card as a more general ending, as leaving something behind, cutting ties and burying the old to make way for something new.
Of course it can still be scary, and still give rise to grief. Big changes are often hard to process, and you may have to prepare for a period of mourning before you move on. But even though Death puts an end to something, it’s not The End. On the other side of sorrow there’s a new beginning, and in the long run, leaving the past behind will likely feel like a relief.