With Halloween days away, this is a I-haven’t-decided-how-many part long form examination of the one emotion that drives most, if not all, of our major life decisions – Fear.
Here’s part one – The Fear of Death
So, if it’s physically impossible to understand death, how can we possibly know what’s going to matter to us when it’s actually about to happen?
‘I don’t wanna die alone’
The fear of dying alone is one that drives so many of us to make all sorts of compromises and choices that we’re not entirely (if at all) comfortable with.
But how can we know that when our time comes, that at right before the point of death, that not being alone is going to be the thing that matters?
Okay, so if you are afraid of being alone during life, it’s highly likely you’re going to be afraid while dying alone too.
But, if you’re comfortable being on your own during life, and entirely comfortable and content spending time with your own thoughts and yourself while you live, does it make any sense to think that all of a sudden you’re going to be terrified of it when you’re about to die? Remember, you’re still living at this point. There’s 2 stages, life and death. Nothing in between.
And what’s to say that at the end of your life, instead of being so focused on being surrounded by loved ones, that just like we do during life, you’re not going to be accessing the highlight reel of your life in your head? Thinking back to that amazing trip you took when you were 43, that passionate 2 week love affair when you were 22, or that time you stumbled upon a bear in the wild or something when you were 61?
And if you are focusing only on not dying alone, isn’t that like watching a longass movie ONLY for the ending? Like just being brain dead throughout the movie, wasting time on distractions and bullshit, just thinking AND HOPING that the ending is going to make everything ok? Isn’t that a complete waste of time and focus? Especially since it can all end suddenly at any point.
And if you are actually worried of dying alone, don’t forget you’re not the only one. So put yourself in a nursing home when you’re 83… There are definitely going to be others who are afraid of dying alone (or at least were at some point in their lives), so you can either join those in their crippling fear, or use it as an opportunity to be THE guy/girl who is indifferent to it. And just watch, you will attract people to you. And you may even help them.
So if you actually do get to live that stage where you’re fading out of your life, there are going to be many others in the same position. And what’s to say you won’t actually meet someone amazing going through the exact same thing at the nursing home you’re in?
The shortest emotion you’ll ever feel
But why would you be afraid of dying alone, if it’s the shortest emotion you can actually feel. And you won’t learn anything from it. You’ll be dead. It’s difficult to learn from experiences if you no longer are an alive human person. So maybe its more productive to choose the people you want to surround yourself during life, because that’s the only time you’ll get to enjoy it.
And why do we think that even if we don’t meet someone that we’ll grow old with (which actually barely happens anyway, as one of the couple has to die before the other, about 99 times out of 100. I once heard a story of 2 people who died at the same time, hand-in-hand, side-by-side while holding hands, but that could’ve been from a movie.
This shows the irrationality of the fears we have. And it’s got to do with the fact that we don’t actually have any fear that are rational or real. The only REAL fears were the ones cavemen had.