‘Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.’
Henry Van Dyke
In the 21 years that I’ve been on this planet, I have only gone to four funerals, two of which I only remember vaguely. The first two were of my great grandfather and my cousin’s father. The other two were this year. The first one was of my neighbor. Although suffering from a disease, he died suddenly, and I was taken aback by it. I didn’t know my neighbor very well, but I remember him as a kind man. He loved his yard, just like my grandfather does, and his grandkids came to visit every weekend. The second funeral I went to, was of someone from the parent committee from AFS in my region. She was suffering from cancer, and everybody knew her death was imminent. But still, she was supposed to turn 50 this year, just like my mother, and it got me thinking.
I’m fairly certain that I’m not afraid of death. What I’m most scared of is that, when death comes for me, I will not have lived my life to the fullest. I think this is a good fear. At least, it’s better than the fear of death. Because the fear of death can paralise you, while the fear of not living life to the fullest can only make you live more. If you know what I mean. This fear I have pushes me to my limits. I’m not saying you have to do something extremely crazy everyday, just try to do something that is out of your comfort zone.
I would never want to live forever. Or even stay young forever. Imagine that we would never die. We would miss out on opportunities because ‘we’d do that later’, not thinking about whether or not these opportunities will present themselves. Or we’d just keep saying ‘I’ll do that some other time’ and end up not doing anything our whole lives. I know it’s all a bit crazy and very hypothetical, but what I’m trying to say I guess is that there is no need to fear death. It’s like Mark Twain once said: ‘The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.’