I have never actually been afraid of anything. Sure, I am regularly assaulted by stupid fears – spiders, creepy noises in the middle of the night, having a heart attack in the middle of a spinning class, etc. – but nothing to actually worry about.
Well, that was true until very recently. I now realize I am absolutely terrified of death. No, not mine. I couldn’t care less about me dying. I am not emo but I just don’t see why anyone would be frightened of something like that when there is no proof of an afterlife or whatever they fear might happen afterward.
No, no, no. I’m terrified of other people’s death.
I find myself living each day with the fear of my loved ones dying deeply engraved in my brain. It’s so bad that sometimes I actually wish for it to happen in order to cope and move on. Why? Because the longer I am with these people, the more memories I create with them everyday, the more emotionally attached I get to them, the more it will hurt when one of them is gone.
My “wish” was close to becoming true last week and that’s when I realized how truly unprepared I am for it. Even worse, I couldn’t even talk about it to someone in hopes of finding relief because I had to keep my shit together for everyone else’s sake. I had to sit right next to her hospital bed just to watch her struggle. And you know what I did? I hoped. Yes, I hoped, because that’s what we do when we face our worst fears and know we can’t beat them on our own… and then I despaired at my inability to do anything else, to be of any help.
We are used to believing that there will be some sort of warning signs just before it happens but in reality there will be none. We should consider ourselves very lucky, more than blessed, if we get the chance to say goodbye at all.