Last night my friend asked me if I was scared of dying.
It wasn’t like we were having a heavy conversation or anything, in fact we were in Bella Italia and had just ordered copious amounts of cheesy garlic bread and oily pasta, so I suppose a heart attack could have been imminent after that little lot. Maybe that did make her question slightly more pertinent.
When you think about it, it’s not really a topic that we talk about much is it? Yeah, we discuss losing loved ones, and what would happen if we were unlucky enough to catch a terminal illness, but the one question we don’t ask is whether we’re scared of death.
It’s like if you admit to being scared of it, then the Grim Reaper might overhear and make it that bit more scary, or painful…I guess it makes the thought solid and…. real.
Perhaps I’m just at that age now where I consider death more than I used to. In our 20’s and 30’s we mostly all felt invincible. Yes, we heard about people of that age dying, but they were the unlucky few. In our 40’s & 50’s it starts to become more common (though still unlikely). In our 60’s we start to take a bit more care crossing the road making sure we look left and right first, and 70’s and onwards…. let’s not worry about that just yet.
I mean…what happens when we die anyway?
Do we wander along a flower strewn pathway to those pearly gates, only to be greeted by Saint Peter? or do we plunge down some kind of log flume into the fiery pits of hell? Do we just fall asleep and then wake up in another body ready to live another life? Do we manifest as ghosts and wander round knocking vases of tables just to freak people out? Or is there just nothing….?
No body. No consciousness. Just like a light being turned off. And in that case what happens to the consciousness? Surely everything we’ve lived through in our life can’t just be wiped out like that can it? All our memories, our passions, our pain, our emotions. Where do they go?
Can anyone actually remember what it was like before you were born though? I know I can’t, so either I’ve been through some radical brainwashing at birth which caused it to be wiped from my mind, or there was just nothing beforehand either. But then…what’s the point of life at all?
Wowser! I couldn’t wait for my garlic bread to turn up so we could change the subject.
I have two variations of what I like to think will happen when I die. 1. I get to go to heaven and be surrounded by every person and pet who I have loved in my lifetime. 2. I get reincarnated as someone fantastic and live another brilliant life, once again surrounded by all those I love, but in a different form. So for example, my best mate could be my partner, my Dad could be my dog and my husband could be my best mate…you get the drift.
The reality behind it though, in all honesty, is that I think the light just gets switched off. The body dies and another consciousness lightbulb is switched on in someone else’s head.
I just hope I don’t get brainwashed at birth again if I do get reincarnated, because I don’t want to lose the memory photo album of my life. Sadly, I’m guessing I will.
So am I scared of dying?
Yes I am.
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