It was after midnight. I was lying in my bed letting my mind wander over what my next phase in life might be. Will I write my first novel? A big relationship change? So, many options and then it hits me–I don’t have as many “next phases” left as I used to– at some point I’m going to die.
My room is dark, save for the dull peach glow of the street lights peering through my blinds. My bed suddenly feels like a coffin. I spring to my feet, heart pounding in my chest. Tears are careening down my cheeks and falling off my clenched jaw. I look around my room and feel trapped. There’s nowhere to go, nothing I can to do. My life was set in motion without my consent and will continue to run it’s course until it stops, again without my consent.
I struggle to come to grips with everything, but I’m panicking.
I try to stifle my sobbing, as not to awake my kids with my madness– my kids! My chest feels like a vice on my heart.
Oh, God, I’m going to die and everything I know will be gone, including them.
Then the questions start, ”
what am I, really? What am I supposed to do? Do I really believe in life after death? What if everything I know is wrong? Does it even matter?
It’s too much. I keep whispering “Oh, God help” over and over again, but I still can’t get my mind around how finite I am. I mean, thirty-five years, actual years have already passed so quickly that soon, I’ll blink and I’ll be taking my last breath.
I was finally able to lay down and sleep. I had some weird dream that basically reiterated my fears and awoke as I usually do. I saw my kids off to their summer program and sat in silence for awhile before carrying on as I did the day before. Last night’s episode is still toward the front of my mind, though; I’ve not yet found peace, just distraction.
Can you be so afraid of dying you forget to live? But if you’re not living…haven’t you died already?