Yesterday, as I was driving on the highway, a cat crossed the road insanely. My heart skipped a beat, and I don’t even like cats that much. Multiple cars almost hit it but it managed to escape and reach the other side safely. Crazy cat!
In my country, people are just as crazy. I don’t understand how one would willingly cross a highway. I don’t understand why anyone would try willingly to put him or herself in death’s path.
I’ve never seen death happen in front of me and yesterday’s encounter confirmed to me that I wouldn’t be able to handle it anyway.
I make myself believe that I have a special relationship with death, although I know it’s not the case. But I feel like it’s been my companion for as long as I can remember. Not a friend, not a foe, but something that is constantly around: sometimes to threaten you, sometimes to remind you that there is always a way out.
I always try to picture ahead of time how I would react to losing someone. I see myself at a complete loss, numb, empty.
I cannot stand formalities and I don’t even know how people do it. I see my father taking care of things, making sure everything is right for the funeral.
I think of doctors, how do they do it? Dealing with death on a possibly daily basis.
People at cemeteries. Do they just ignore it and consider it a regular job? Or is it the opposite? Is it hard for them to go to work every day and face these souls and their graves? Or is it some kind of mission, a way to make them a little bit less lonely?
My fear of death has always trapped and consumed me, from the first time I understood the concept of losing one’s life. And I don’t think I’m superstitious but on repeated occasions, when I see a hearse, something bad happens during my day.
Something deeply shakes me at the thought of people losing their lives. I start to imagine what they were doing before, did it hurt, were they lonely, were they aware, did they feel loved, especially at the end?
Five years ago, in October, I lost two people I respected and cared for very much. They died two days apart. It was one of the hardest periods I’ve ever been through, especially that one of these deaths came to me completely unexpectedly as she was my age, young and dynamic. One I admired for always being so full of life. Losing them made the world a much darker place and I thought life wouldn’t get any better.
It always makes me think how human get over someone. I mean I do it too, but it just feels weird to move one, to live, to carry on despite the loss.
It doesn’t take much too, you get used to it. One morning after the other, it gets better.
I hate this idea. I mean, it’s going to happen to you too. One day, you’re going to die and people will get used to your absence. It’s awful. It’s not their fault and it doesn’t matter how much they love you, they’ll move on and you’ll be added to the long list of people who are from the past.
I’m not saying I’m still hung up on the deaths in my life.
The first time I laughed after that October, it felt very weird and inappropriate. But then it happened again and I learned to accept that it’s okay. I even made jokes sometimes, went out and slowly left the grieving bubble but I was hoping they knew that they were both on my mind.
I want someone, just one, to remember me constantly when I’m gone.
“When I’m gone”. It’s never an “if” but always a “when”. I don’t know about you, but this keeps me up at night. How can we fall asleep so easily if there is always the possibility of never waking up?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean I want immortality. Not at all. This is not about living forever. This is more about having enough time. Enough time and the proper guidance to consistently remind me that I should try to forget death at least a little bit and focus on living instead.