Throughout my entire existence, I have had a strange fascination with death.
I’m not unique; I’m sure most of us contemplate the issue on our journey to the end.What is it? How does it feel like passing on? Is there a light at the end of a long tunnel? Do we go on?
Growing up catholic, I never really questioned the concept of “eternal life”, although somewhere, in the back of my mind, it didn’t add up. Why would WE go on eternally when all other creatures stop existing?
There were periods in my life where the mere thought of ceasing to exist would freeze the blood in my veins, literally. It would throw me into severe panic attacks where I couldn’t breathe. This was when I was much younger, and I managed to get a grip on these episodes and kept them at bay for most of my adulthood.
With the sudden possibility of my days being cut short by an invisible enemy, my fear of death resurfaced. It was never gone, just there, dormant, waiting for the perfect trigger to show its ugly face. It didn’t help that in the midst of this pandemic, my mother was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and passed a way in October, making my own mortality that much more real.
It’s been a rough winter.
My anxiety got really bad. I thought of death constantly. I even found myself actually picturing the instant of my own death, fantasizing on how it would feel knowing I was taking my last breath… Really dark, unhealthy and terrifying stuff.
But after spending weeks worrying about something I can’t control, I’ve decided to live. I’ve decided that I won’t let the future ruin my todays. I will focus on what’s around me, one day at a time, and if bad thoughts enter my mind, I will chase them away with gratitude. I will count my many blessings and thank God for them. Yes, God.
I’ve come to the conclusion that even if he (she) isn’t real, my life is better with God in it. Even if it is ultimately a delusion, speaking to him (her) everyday gives me something to hold on too. It’s reassuring to me to think there is something out there looking out for me. I speak to my mom too. She helps me appreciate just how short life is.
“Life goes by fast. Enjoy it. Calm down. It’s all funny.” ―Joan Rivers