Judaism is not a death-oriented religion but a life-oriented one. As the Gemara tells us, it is much more difficult to live an entire life Al Kiddush Hashem than it is to die in that manner. We don’t get to choose how we leave this world but we do get to choose how we live in this world. While a Jew must be prepared to die Al Kiddush Hashem, there is no source that says we must hope for it. R. Akiva’s famous statement was made about himself and there are a number of fascinating explanations as to why.