Last year, Rita Ora and Lena Dunham, revealed something about themselves, that I know all too well myself.
The fear of death.
Both girls admitted they were scared of dying and confessed they had also been seeking help about the matter. A matter which is inevitable and something that we know little about, except for it being the end of life as we know.
I remember the first time I became aware of dying. That sounds strange doesn’t it? But little young (not forgetting to mention) innocent, me, couldn’t comprehend my mortality. As far as I was concerned I was immortal. I was going to live forever! Until one day when I asked my atheist father, what does happen when we die?
His response to this was:
Do you remember before you were born?
This was a question I had never considered. Although having said that I was only 7 at the time.
– No dad?
– Exactly! That’s what it’ll be like when we die. So don’t worry about it.
But I did. I couldn’t stop worrying about it. An eternity of blackness. An infinity of nothing. Something that I might not be able to get through. No light at the end of the tunnel! Even writing this now I feel a sense of dizziness wash over me.
So yes, it’s not something I can deny – death scares the crap out of me!
It makes me laugh when people say death doesn’t frighten them. How can it not? Our human instinct is to survive. The accepting of the fact that there is nothing we can do about it, is fine. But to not be scared of something we have little control over, can’t be true. We must be all terrified, surely?!
I envy people who believe they are going to go to some heaven, chill on a cloud with God, or be reincarnated as a pet dog called Roxy. That’s really lovely. Seriously it is! I on the other hand, don’t believe in that. I’m not sure what I believe, but in the words of Woody Allen, I’m pretty certain that I don’t want to be there when it happens.
Having a fear of death is different to having a phobia. Luckily I don’t have that. Unfortunately, having read online, there are people who don’t want to leave their house in case they die. To me, having a fear of death, (in a twisted way) is a good thing. My anxiety around dying makes me realise time and time again, that we only have one chance to do whatever it is we want to do. It stops me from being lazy and it makes me appreciate the people who I love in my life.
I’m not sure why we were put on this planet. I’d like to believe it’s to enjoy and love the people and nature around us. Wow, I sound hippy, but really – what else is there in life?
Unfortunately death is just life’s reminder that we don’t exist forever. However the memories we leave ingrained in other people, is what will live on.
So if you’re anything like me, and fearful of death, use that fear as motivation to be the best you can be. Create magical memories and love hard.
You only live once, but if you live it well, once will be all that you need.