I have what might be an abnormally conscious fear of death.
It’s sort of hard for me to describe. There is more than one facet to it.
First of all, I simply do not want to die, and I fear dying young. I don’t want to abandon my children before they are old enough to know I loved them with all my being, and before they are mature enough to not be psychologically scarred by my absence. I love life, I love being alive, and I don’t want it to end any time soon.
Then, there’s the fear of dying itself. I am a secular humanist so I don’t believe in heaven or hell, or limbo, or reincarnation, or any other sort of existence beyond life as we know it here. I believe that life just ends, that consciousness just ends, and that’s it. Part of me really wishes I didn’t; if I could believe that when I died, I’d be reunited with my mother and grandparents and all my other loved ones, it would be so much more comforting. I wish I could find something about death that I could look forward to. I suppose it is fortunate that I have no reason to believe that death would be better than the life I’m living now. Still, I dwell on it occasionally, and quite honestly, it terrifies me. What will it feel like, to slip out of consciousness like that, never to return? Will I know it’s happening? Am I going to spend the last few moments of my life scared out of my mind because my greatest fear is happening to me?
I got wrapped up in all those thoughts last night, as I laid with Lane trying to get her to fall asleep. Oh man, it is not a good or comforting thing to be so aware of one’s own mortality sometimes.