I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about how little time we have here, on earth. I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting closer to the end of my 20s, and I see how quickly it happened. I don’t know if it’s because death touched my life when my mom passed away, forcing awareness of my own mortality before my mid-twenties. But I do know that I am afraid of dying – and I think it’s because I’m having the time of my life, and I don’t want it to end.
It’s not that I’m afraid of what comes after death, because I’m at peace with what I believe will happen then. It’s just that I am so happy these days, but the one thing I know for certain is that change is the only constant. Nothing lasts forever. So I fear for the impending ripples in the smooth currents of my happy life, and then I fear that no matter how much time we’re given it will still never feel like enough. The first time I felt something like this was when I read a story about the deep depression an elderly woman went into when she lost her husband of 56 years. It seems obvious but it wasn’t to me at first – there is never enough time to be with someone you love! I thought about how people say they “can’t wait to grow old” with one another, and when I heard it I used to get the sweet image of an old couple rocking in their chairs, reminiscing on the life experiences they had together. But I don’t think I’ll ever say it to my life partner, because I can wait to grow old together. I don’t know if it was just me that imagined there was ever enough time, and that suddenly after x amount of years you’d be ready to say goodbye to someone. I figured it had something to do with losing my mom at a young age, and the wishful thinking that I could’ve had her throughout her later years. But I have an understanding there too, that when you lose your mom (or anyone important to you) – it doesn’t matter when it happens, it will always be devastating.
So…I’m enjoying the life I have immensely, and I know doing that is the best thing I can do. Maybe the beauty in all of it is that since our life spans are so short, we pack everything we can into this tiny space in time – so if/when we have the chance to look back we see a slideshow of beautiful and captivating experiences. For now, any time I get overwhelmed with the fear of the inevitable, I cope by thinking about the bad news and the good news. The bad news is that nothing lasts forever. But the good news is – that nothing lasts forever. 😊