I hate to say it, but I am downright afraid of death. That’s probably not a popular thing to admit. I should probably say something like, “Death is inevitable. Death is just a part of life. Death will happen to all of us.” Or maybe the religious side of me should say, “There is nothing to be afraid of because there is an afterlife. You will be with God.”
For the record, I’m not afraid of death because I think I will end up in hell. I joke about that, but really, I think God knows I have a good heart and he will let me into the big penthouse in the sky despite my human failings.
One reason I am afraid of death is because I don’t want to be alone when my husband dies. Call me a sap, but I don’t want to live any part of my life without my husband. It is really quite remarkable how deeply I love the big oaf I’m married to, and the thought of having to live out the rest of my life without him, especially at a time when I need him the most (like being old and feeble), strikes my heart with stone cold fear.
But the flip side isn’t any better. What if I die before him? Well, I worry so much about leaving him behind all alone. I worry what will become of him. I don’t know which is worst — his living the rest of his life alone and miserable, or his living the rest of his life happy, or his living the rest of his life happy with someone else. I know that is also an unpopular thing to say — I’m supposed to say that I love him so much that I wouldn’t want him to be alone and that his happiness is the most important thing in the world to me. But I’m not sure I’m ready to be that benevolent yet. The thought of him being happy without me and with someone else is just something I can’t wrap my head around. I am simply not this woman. At least not now.
I am afraid to die and leave my daughter alone in this big, wide world without her mommy. I know she’s an adult. I know she’s a strong, independent young woman. I know she will be sad. I know she will miss me. And I know she will do fine without me. But it still doesn’t matter. I know she will be hurting when it happens and it seems a cruel irony that at a time when she really needs her mommy, her mommy is absolutely not available to her.
I worry that when I die, I won’t be missed, that my life simply will not have mattered. Maybe this is really narcissistic of me, to expect that I am so important and valuable that I will be missed. But I am scared that when I’m gone, it won’t matter to anyone. I’ll just fade away like the scent of perfume in the air. (This topic will be discussed in more depth when I get to the letter L.)
Maybe death scares me because I’m just simply not old enough to be ready for death. Maybe once I’m older and if my health sucks or I am suffering from some awful illness, I’ll be at peace with the thought of death. But right now, I nearly am beside myself when I think about it too much. I don;t know what that says about me — if anything — but all I know is it somehow seems so damn unfair that I have to die.