Why Can’t I Stop Thinking About My Death?
All humans have an expiration date.
For the first 27 years of my life, I never really thought about that.
Why would I?
I was too busy playing sports, graduating from high school, and getting through college. My life was largely about setting up my future life.
I had to get through exams and semesters and student loans before I could think about anything else.
Yet here I am, at the ripe age of 27, staying up until 3 AM thinking about when I’m going to take my last breath.
I’m not suicidal. I’m not depressed. I’m just, I don’t know. I’m thinking about an inevitability that scares me.
I Thought I’d Stay Young Forever
My hairline is starting to recede. I know it’s not a big deal, but if nothing else, it’s a sign my body is changing.
I read an article the other day saying something like “When you’re partying at the club at 27 years old, it’s a little weird.”
I guess they’re right.
It felt like I was 21 just last year or something. My ex-girlfriends from high school are married — some of them are pregnant. It’s just crazy how I thought I’d stay young forever. Did I never see this day coming?
At 3 AM I Start Thinking About This Stuff
The speed at which life is moving scares me. Sometimes I’m having an amazing time with my girlfriend then the gears in my mind jam and sputter into the future..
I start thinking about our life thirty years from now. I’m not even engaged to her yet, everyone.
My mind is so weird.
It seems that worrying has gotten the best of me. The thing is, I don’t know how to make it stop.
What happens to us after we’re dead? Is it just nothing? As an agnostic I tend to think the most likely scenario is that we die and then it’s a fade to black.
This is depressing, isn’t it?
This is no bash on religion, but I can see why so many people are so quick to believe in God. It’s because pondering our own mortality is so freaking terrifying. We want hope. We want to know there’s life after this one — among other things of course.
Life Is Moving So Fast It Scares Me
The last five years of my life have sped past me like a sports car. I’ve often tried to put mile markers on the years somehow. Who did I date that year? Who was I romantically involved with? Where did I spend that summer?
It’s getting hard for me to know.
What scares me right now isn’t death per se, because I know if I die at 70 it’s a long ways away.
What scares me is how fast this ride is moving.
What also scares me is being involved in some sort of accident.
I read a story about a man who was caving a few years back. He got stuck upside down in one of the caverns and they couldn’t break him free. Basically all they could do is wait for him to die. To help ease his passing, they stuck his leg with an IV and fed him drugs to help calm him down.
Gosh. Just think about what he must’ve gone through. It’s super depressing, but it happened! This is a real life story. It’s not like we’re magically immune to this happening to us.
Sure, most of us won’t go caving in our lives, but still. Accidents can happen anywhere.
Here’s The Silver Lining
Thinking about death will make you appreciate life.
I wish I didn’t think about death so much. Trust me. I wish my mind would think about rainbows and leprechauns more often or something.
But thinking about death has helped me be more conscious of what I’m doing right now.
It’s made me make plans in my head for what I want my life to look like. It’s helped my relationship now. It’s helped me value time with family. It’s helped me look past petty squabbles with the people I love. It has led to a richer life experience.
If all that it costs is thinking about death every now and then, maybe it’s worth it, no?
The real truth is, we don’t know when our last day on this earth will be. To me, it’s actually good to remember that every now and then.
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