Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Moment of Morbidity

I've always been fascinated with death, mostly because it scares the shit out of me. I am so afraid of dying that I can barely step into a doctor's office or a hospital. Of course, that's also partly attributed to my fear of needles and being "under".

Still, even being as big a pussy as I seemingly am, I think about death. Not in the same way a goth kid does, or an elderly person, or a doctor. I think more about what really happens. Who knows if there really is a God? I don't really subscribe to religion as I genuinely feel that early religions were invented as a story - a story meant to explain "that which cannot be explained" - and which grew to be an escape for people from the harshness of real life. Religion used to be the panacea for anything and everything; diseases were punishments for sins and recoveries were miracles, seemingly the work of divine intervention. It has also evolved into a force of control over the masses, a way to keep the poor from killing the rich and to keep the outsiders just behind the borders of the norm.

Who is right? Who is wrong? And what right do people think they have to judge others based on their beliefs?

I guess I mull these ideas in my head because I don't know what's going to happen when I die. If I even get the chance to reflect on my life as it fades away, what will I see? Will "God" be revealed to me? Will I have flashes of my life, my accomplishments, my failures before I pass? Will I have time for my last words?

I think about my last words more than I probably should. I think about what I need to say if and when I realize that I'm going to die. I've always imagined that my last words will have to be something comforting to my family and friends. Maybe it will be profound, but I'm less worried about that. Will I be surrounded by people I love who will hear my words of comfort? What if I die at a diner or on the train to work? Who will care what I have to say? Who will tell my family I love them?

I just want to be able to tell the people I love that I love them, that they're going to be ok, that I'm going to be ok. And then I think about how many people don't get that chance. People who die in car accidents, or from heart attacks at restaurants, or in botched carjackings; these are people who have lived their lives and have loved and whose flames get snuffed out before they can tell people the people they love that it's all going to be ok, even if it's not.

And maybe I won't be able to say what I need to say. Maybe I'll be too busy crying like a little girl and begging for my fading life. Maybe I will be so preoccupied with fighting against the dying of the light that I won't be able to comfort those I love.

It's scary and it's stupid, I know. But it's what I think about.

So I try to tell the people I love that I love them. My family, my friends...the people who make me happy, who make me love life - even if it's only for a little while and only in small doses. If you really love someone, then go ahead and say it. Don't worry about hurt feelings or reactions; don't let other people pound self-doubt into your head. Love can be so many different things to so many different people, and the idea that love is somehow sacred and only available to certain people in certain situations is ridiculous.

I love my family, I love my friends (new and old), I love the people who make me feel like I matter. I do what I can, though sometimes it's by use of sarcasm and humor, to tell those people that I don't exist without them. I wish more people would get over themselves and just say it to someone - even if you're afraid, even if it's just the love of friendship, even if it complicates things. In the end, you're going to find out what you're made of and what the people around you are made of. Love really will do that for you. It will change you life and make you a better person. And who doesn't want that?

Don't wait to tell people you love them. Don't put it on hold; don't assume that you'll be able to say it tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day. You may never get the chance to change yourself for the better by just being honest and admitting that you're in love with your life and the people in it. And you'll be happier, I promise you.

Love never fails.

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