I’ve been petrified of death my whole life. I know everyone’s afraid of dying but some people just shrug it off and accept it with a calmness I’ve never understood. I remember being 5 years old, running in to my dad’s bedroom and having a panic attack about dying. I’ve had these panic attacks my whole life and they’ve always been triggered by the same image that I couldn’t describe accurately if I tried – but it’s like the emptiness and years rolling out after I’ve gone. The amount of time I’ll be dead… And I can’t handle it.
I’m not sure if this phenomenal fear is the result of the magnitude of appreciation I have for being alive. I love life! I am in awe of our existence- I find it all incredibly magical. Even in the darkest of times, I’m genuinely so grateful to be here. But there’s always this niggle in my mind – like when I have an incredible day, a moment of pure joy, I am reminded. One day you won’t be here to experience this.
Surely this should make me suck it up and live every day to the fullest but it just leaves me with a bundle of fear to carry around in my handbag. Sometimes though, I forget that one day I’ll die. It’s lovely to forget. I might go a few weeks or even months without thinking about it, only to have it sneak up on me in the middle of the night or wave at me across a beautiful view from the train window.
I’m sorry this is so dark but I feel like it’s important to talk about. No one teaches us how to deal with death, I suppose because there’s no real right way to. The reason I wanted to write about this is because I haven’t had any inspiration to write lately – the blog has been deserted! But the truth is, I’ve been fighting the death fear that follows me around and I’ve had no room left to be inspiring or witty or interesting. I’ve had no idea what to write about because I haven’t been feeling like doing much at all.
It was all triggered by Mac Miller. It sounds bizarre but it really hit me bad. I used to love his music and what I saw of him in his videos and interviews. He always struck me as so positive and full of life, which I aspire to be. I was so emotional the day after he died I had to have a few glasses of wine. I can’t comprehend that someone can just suddenly be gone, that their life can just stop. Where does that person with all their traits and energy and feelings and ideas go…?
The past few weeks I’ve been miserable. I’ve been so overly emotional, touchy and anxious. I’ve taken it out on my Jack and I’ve cancelled plans with friends because I’ve been feeling plain rubbish. How silly, to let death dampen my life? Though, I think it’s important to not be too hard on myself – this is a perfectly valid fear. Us humans are a bundle of emotions and whatever we’re feeling, we must acknowledge it, accept it and let it pass. Since remembering this, I’ve felt like a new person.
Death. Yes, it’s horrible but it’s inevitable. And so I regularly remind myself of the famous quote “life is a shipwreck – but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats”. Because what’s the point in it all if we spend our time worrying and not enjoying the gift?
From now on, I’m reminding myself to use my time wisely. To inspire kindness, create beautiful things and moments, to be the best I can be whilst I’m here. To not fear something we know absolutely 0 about. To remind myself that to be here in the first place is a miracle.
Yesterday, I wandered around St James’ Park marvelling at the whole madness of it all, watching the lake sparkle in the sun and the pigeons lying in the shade of the trees (because pigeons need a lie down too!) and I felt refreshed. The fear has subsided for now.
Does anyone else worry about this? I’d love to hear your views – and how you might fight the fear.
Love, Siân x
ps. Sorry to be gloomy!!! xxx