You’re Gonna Die, So You Might As Well Live
I don’t want to die. I’m afraid to die. I’m afraid of dying. I’m afraid I’ll die young. Too soon. Before my time. Without saying goodbye. Without telling those I love how I truly feel. Before I’ve allowed myself to live authentically. Before I realize the person I’m supposed to become. Without becoming that person. I’m afraid.
I’m afraid I’ll die before my wife. Before we get to slow down. Before my daughter marries. Before my son marries. Before their graduation. In my sleep. At work. Please not at work. Alone. Please don’t let me die alone. Please don’t let them watch me die.
“First, you’ve gotta know-not fear, know-that someday, you’re gonna die.”
-Tyler Durden, Fight Club
I think about death a lot. I can’t control it. I can. But, I don’t. Or I can’t. I’m not concerned which. I don’t know when. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. But, I know I’m going to die. It terrifies and exhilarates me at the same time.
I was laying in bed with my son. We were combing out his day. I kept moving his hair as he squirmed for comfort and out of the necessity of a six-year old to move until his eyes clamped down for the night. His lava lamp danced and I wasn’t entirely present. I was thinking about work, consumed with the stress of my life at all times, watching the amoebic dance of the lamp. Had I been any more inside the lamp I might’ve missed it. Out of the silence.
“Dad, I don’t want to die.” He began crying. “I don’t want to die, Dad.” His tears were clown tears. His voice trembled as if he were staring into the abyss in that moment. “I don’t want to die either, son. We’re going to die some time. But, you’re not going to die for a very, very, long time.”
“How do you know?” I didn’t.
“You’re only six, son. You have a very long life to live.” I guessed.
“Yeah, I just don’t want to die.”
“Well son, our job is to wake up every day and try to live our lives to the best of our abilities, love our family, and not be afraid. Because if we try to do our best, we can’t ask for much more.”