“After all, to the well-organised mind, death is but the next great adventure.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, 1997.
I sensed the white, freezing feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach before the thought even entered my head. Initially, I put it down to the combination of chocolate, popcorn and coke zero as I stared up at the images dancing on the cinema screen. I had a tendency to overeat at the cinema. I had a tendency to overeat wherever I went. As I wondered whether a trip to the bathroom was imminent and I deliberated whether I should leave there and then or wait till the end of the scene, a little voice, my inner monologue, piped up and sent chills down my spine.
“You’re going to die someday…you’re going to be dead and cold in the ground and you won’t exist anymore. OK, enjoy the rest of your movie!”
Almost as soon as it entered my mind it was gone. I settled back into the movie and yes, I did enjoy it. I can’t remember what I watched but it was funny and had a happy ending. However, for those ten or so seconds where I realised my own mortality, I was in a state of dreaded fear. But still, it passed and I moved on and it didn’t affect my life.
However, this intrusive thought has not really gone away. It is by no means constant and as I said, it does not affect my life; it is there, though, in the back of my mind somedays. It has grown legs too, including my family and loved ones in its dark encapsulation of my biggest fear; DEATH! Death will come for us all and leaves no one behind. There is no point running for you will only be out of breath when the end comes. So, instead, live your life to its fullest and accept that while death is inevitable, you decide what you do with your time here.
I wish I could accept that and live by my own rules.
I have started listening to the Blindboy Podcast a lot recently. It took me a few goes to get into as I was starting at whatever the most recent podcast was and was probably daunted by the sheer amount of content online. Third time’s the charm, I started from the start, as mathematicians so intended, (Praise be to maths) and I am hooked. While I don’t agree with everything that he says I do enjoy the podcasts and as a fan of the RubberBandits and their music, I am a fan of Blindboy and his hot takes.
I was listening to a podcast today from April or May in 2018. You never really know what you’re in for with his podcasts, and death found its way in to this one. He was talking about older people enjoying things like comic book movie and how people aren’t really grown up until their mid 30s. He said that part of life and growing up into a proper, responsible adult is accepting that death is inevitable. We are all going to die someday. While I don’t agree with his thoughts on people who enjoy things like comic book movies being real adults, he was not saying it in a malicious way. I do agree that death is inevitable and I have accepted that but sometimes that little voice pipes back up and reminds me that my family and friends won’t be around some day, and neither will I.
I don’t know if it is the fact that I’ve never lost anyone extremely close to me before their time or if I am going through some sort of existential crisis, but I think one of these two factors outisde of my control are contributing to these thoughts. I don’t want to alarm anyone either! This post is not meant to worry anyone because as I’ve said, it doesn’t happen that regularly and it doesn’t affect my day to day life. I don’t shuffle around the place, hugging the corners of buildings and crawling down the road in my car for fear of the hooded reaper slamming on the breaks and collecting my soul. I don’t worry about my family and friends and girlfriend every minute of the day and bombard them with texts about their health. I text them to make sure they are worried about me and if I’m eating properly because I’m precious! Seriously, though, everyone gets intrusive thoughts sometimes. As I have no significant mental health problems I can brush them aside and decide to live and breathe and enjoy. For others, it is not so easy.
Be kind, always.
How do you deal with death and the thoughts of our own mortality? Let me know in the comment section if you like! Also, I’m always open for people who need to talk or vent ✌