my fear of death

When I’m crossing the finish line of a running race,

That feeling is quite marvellous,

It’s one of utter relief.

It’s over, I can rest,

I can go back to pizza and the sofa

And an endless episodes of Friends and ER.

*

And when I finish the book that I’ve been reading

I have a feeling of enlightenment

That I wear proudly like a prom dress,

I can show it off in public,

The colourful things that I now know,

And the authors that I’ve read.

The closing of the book is the beginning of my fun.

*

But what can I say of what is certainly coming,

That fearful black entity that will swallow us all.

Yes, death is inevitable,

We can’t run away and we can’t close the book.

But is it an end like the end of a race or a classical work?

Or is it the beginning of something mistook?

The line is in sight and we’re heading that way,

But why all this talk about how to keep it at bay?

I’m thinking that maybe we should run at full speed,

Collecting our medal and the praise of our friends.

And we deserve it so much,

For surviving this world we live in today.

No, I don’t think that death is the end,

I do not think it is evil and dark.

But rather a blanket that’s placed round the shoulders

Of the tired distance runner who has battled it out.

It’s a hug from the coach and a medal in hand.

I agree that this world sees the pages slammed shut,

But only to wake in the bookshop of dreams

Where there is so much to read

That the fear and the pain are no longer things

On which your imagination can feed.

So, death terrifies me. I am a control freak and not knowing how or when or what even happens is something that makes me sweat. I mean, we all think that we are going to die as old people and our hearts just give up while we are sleeping. But the truth is that it’s probably not going to be a pleasant as that.

And then there’s the big question that is ‘where do we go?’ I’m a Christian, but even the Bible doesn’t tell me exactly what is going to happen. Do I go to a waiting room where they decide if I’ve made the grade to get into Heaven? Or do we go into some kind of hyper sleep until the second coming? There are so many questions still left open that I need the answer to. And I worry that if I think about it too much then my head will go pop.

That’s why I like to think that it’s not the end. Whenever I finish a race, I know that there are nice things to look forward to at the end. And I know that there are other races that I can enter to have another go at bettering my time. It is a similar experience when reading a book. There are times when I fall so in love with the characters that I can’t bear for it to end. But when the book is finished I can sit and think about it in my own head or discuss it with friends. I can read other work by the same author or see if the book has been made into a movie. Life won’t end as soon as that book is finished because the characters live on, and more importantly, I live on.

So, if death also terrifies you, try to think of it as a little break in the proceedings. It’ll be a time for you to have a look back at your ‘best bits’ and then prepare for whatever lies ahead in the great unknown. And if you have recently lost someone, it might be comforting to think that they have just finished this race, but they’re still out there running another one and waiting for you when it’s your turn to join them.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

29 thoughts on “my fear of death

  1. potatosandwich

    I once heard a quote ‘death is a wonderful experience ‘. Everyone has their own view on what happens next. But if we think, is it that we fear our own death or is that fear a mask for the real insecurity; the death of a loved one. We can’t bear the thought that the ones we love are not going to be around one day and that they could go before us. Death can be looked as coming off the train and getting ready to catch the next one. Do we merge with an internal God? Do we fall back into the cycle of birth again? Is there a heaven or hell? Ask anyone who is struggling in life with illness or something else, they will say there is no worse hell then this. But what we do know is that for the time we are in existence, we have the chance to make a difference to someone. We can improve our environment, the community, well being of ourselves and those around us. Let’s marvel in the moments we have and savour what we have learned so it can be passed down to other generations.

    1. patientandkindlove

      So many questions and nowhere near enough time on earth to answer them all. I think that the fear of losing people and things is what most people are scared of. I heard someone who was dying said that they were scared to fall asleep because they were worried that they’d never open their eyes and see their loved ones again. They spent all their time fighting sleep so that it couldn’t happen which I think sums up how desperate we are not to leave people.

  2. Gina

    a beautiful post, especially the analogy of a running race and the race of life, a comforting post to those who have lost and have questions.

  3. Jessie

    I really like your comparison! I have never thought of it that way. The unknown is terrifying and I think that’s why death is so scary. I use to be religious and now I believe more toward science so I am not so scared of what’s after death, but am more afraid of how I might die.

  4. mblivinglife

    I like that last sentence you have here. My brother recently passed away and it has made me do some serious wondering about what happens. I think maybe it’s something that we really all have just no idea about – like not even close to what we’re thinking. So many ways to look at it and ponder. Interesting, thanks.

  5. carriann909

    Definitely a fear for most everyone. I try to live each day to fullest. Say I love u often. But I’m sure it will still be rough, I recently lost someone close and it is never easy..I am not sure one is ever ready even if you know.

  6. Joanna

    I think that everyone is afraid of death and about the unknown upon it. But it’s important not to focus on it. What will happen will happen and we have to accept that it is something that we will never have control on.

  7. serenarogers19

    I think most people have a certain amount of fear when it comes to death as it’s “fear of the unknown.” My main concern is that everyone I leave behind will be ok and that I have lived as fully as I could in this life. You cannot worry about what has not happened, you can only enjoy the here and now.

  8. Samantha Smart

    Personally, I’m not afraid of death. But I am afraid of leaving my children behind when I die. As a child whose mother died young, it’s a real fear for me. Great post – thank you for your thoughts on the subject. Very poetic way of expressing your thoughts and fears.

  9. Goldfish and Gin

    I never really had a fear of death until recently. I think it was the loss of both grandmothers and the a friend that spurred it. It’s hard to rationalize why it scares me… maybe I’m with you… maybe it’s the lack of control and the unknowns. But I like the way you think about it. Thanks for sharing

  10. Suanlian Tangpua

    What a great piece of work! There’s no one who is not fear of death in this world. But death is the great equalizer, regardless of our station in life while we were living, in death, we’re exactly the same as any other dead person rich or poor. Death is a gift!

  11. Mr. Mel

    Wonderfully written and thought provoking. Fear of death comes from the uncertainty of living. This uncertainty in the result of our misunderstanding of life. Life is energy, unending, living is what we do on earth. Living is an opportunity to use that energy any way we please, without fear.
    What is this energy? It is unconditional love! Understand that and you can be living fearlessly.🙏🙏❤️😊

  12. Victor Eshameh

    Wow… tremendous thoughts and feelings all out here.
    Would you mind if i add this piece to make collection for a journal on death? I will be glad. You get to share your site or book link and also get a copy of the journal when it is completed.

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