My 7 year old asked me if I was afraid to die. Rather odd, I thought, but when I stopped for a second to really hear my answer, I surprisingly said, “No, actually.”
Dissatisfied with my answer, she marched straight to her father, to see what he would say or maybe to commiserate with someone… he gave her the answer she wanted to hear. And then she confessed, “I am afraid to die too”.
I don’t know if it is age appropriate for her to come to grips with her mortality, but I know she is totally puzzled by the spectrum of answers.
I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m afraid of a slow death. Like if all medications ceased to exist and I could not use my inhaler, yeah, that would suck. I would be out of breath most of the time, I could not walk far, or be outside in the heat, or cold. I’m afraid of my body decaying, but I am not afraid of leaving this world, I have learned to see as the Muggle world (to quote Harry Potter).
Maybe it’s because my grandmother died when I was very young, but I feel very little when someone dies. I see it as a part of life. Nothing more. Another amazing passage that the soul takes as it weaves in and out of consciousness. Whether you believe in re-incarnation, salvation or neither, you can’t deny the sacred journey of birth and death. From one form to the next, and it happens through these two doorways.
Really, we have little deaths throughout life. Maybe to prepare us for the biggie. We lose friend, jobs, spouses, children leave the home, parents leave this world, we re-invent ourselves, and make new careers at midlife. Little deaths. All the time.
Why are most of us afraid of death? Are we afraid of change? The unknown? Are you afraid of death? Afraid of what will happen to those you leave behind?
I must interview my pondering 7 year old, and see what troubles her so. Ask yourself these questions, and see what you come up with!