“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”
I have always been terrified by the idea of death. Even as a kid, whenever I start thinking about closing my eyes, losing consciousness, and of leaving the world behind, I scare myself silly and I start calling out for my mom. She usually explained how death was inevitable and that someday, we all would need to welcome it with open arms. It was a concept I had a hard time accepting, and remained quite foreign to me even when people I do know passes on. It wasn’t until my mom was diagnosed with cancer that I actively started contemplating about death and how it works.
Dying is one thing. But going through second-hand pain, and knowing that there’s nothing you can do about it is another. The fear of the unknown and of dying gave me a couple of sleepless nights on the rare times it pops up in my mind. The knowledge that Death can come knocking on our family home’s door was like living in a beach house built too close to the sea. A relentless sea of anxiety, frustration, and, questions. Strong waves that keep slamming on glass walls overlooking the ocean, every day of every week for three years. Most days the waves are harsh and high, high enough to reach the roof and harsh enough to rattle your foundation. The days where the sea is calm is few and far in between, but you take it as it is and appreciate the view. However, no matter the weather, the thought remains oppressively constant. Is today going to be the day our walls are overcome, and this entire thing is swallowed into the sea?
It wasn’t until I learned how to operate an oxygen tank and its mask while the beeping of a heart rate monitor play in the background that I realized, a life well lived is worth dying for. Living trapped in your own body is not living, and how I would rather welcome peace if it would stop her suffering, even if it comes in the form of death. I am betting nothing else can quickly rearrange your life’s priorities than the prospect of losing the most important person in your life. The fear of death and of losing her comes only second to the fear of seeing her in more pain. And when Death finally came, it was embraced fondly as we said goodbye to her anguish, and, to Death, “see you again”.
“After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”