Fear of Death and Dying #FridayReflections
Talking about death and dying, more than my own I fear the death of my near and dear ones. The inevitability of it all hasn’t yet settled in. Acceptance hasn’t come to me, yet. There was a time during the early teenage years, I used to speculate life without my family, and plan my survival if such a mishap ever did happen. It was depressing, almost dysfunctional. I was going through a bitter phase, and such thoughts just heightened the melancholic feelings. But now, after years, these thoughts have become a part and parcel of life. Every time a kin doesn’t receive the phone call; every time a family member who isn’t home doesn’t respond to messages and calls; every time the friend is out on a drive and the phone’s unreachable, this creepy thought does peep from some corner of the mind. And it’s intimidating.
I haven’t experienced death from close quarters. The demise of someone from the extended family, two suicides, and fatal accidents of certain college juniors- I have seen how my parents react to it, how affected they are by the sad and sudden news, and it does bother me. I feel the pain and the helplessness. It’s excruciating, almost killing. I just can’t imagine what it would be like, when I myself would have to go through that phase, sometime in my life. I haven’t known grief, denial, emptiness, anger and final acceptance personally- except through friends, family and such touching poignant tales in books and movies. I don’t know how I would take it. I don’t know how I would fare. Sometimes I think I would become detached, stop caring and feeling. Then, I think I am more humane than that. And this speculation keeps that fear alive in me. I wish I wasn’t so afraid every moment. I wish I could just accept the greater forces working in our lives.
Thinking of my own lifespan, I speculate a lot on that too. I think perhaps everybody does. They say life is shorter than you think it is. I wonder so many things. Would I finally find my purpose in life? Would I write that novel I’ve been trying and failing at? Would I be able to strike off all the things in my wish list? How far and wide would I be able to travel? What would I regret? Would I be able to leave my mark? Would I ever marry? Would I be a mother? What would life be like in about twenty years- would I be here to see that? No amount of time can be enough to spend with loved ones. Even if someone wanted to hand me a deadline, I would refuse to have one. I wouldn’t want to know my future, my deadline. And perhaps this fear of death is a boon in disguise; it does make us feel alive. It’s fear that makes you feel alive. So, in a way, sometimes, I am thankful for it.
PS: This is last week's prompt for #FridayReflections ....