There is nothing like experiencing loss to get you really thinking about death. I have shared before, on this blog, something that I do when I am afraid of dying, but in the spirit of today’s CYG prompt, I want to tell you another little thing I have up my sleeve, which sometimes helps me to cope with the grief that I feel for Clara, as well as my own fears and hang ups about dying. It’s rather simple, but I find it to be very effective.
I simply think about all the people who have died already. Not just like, anybody, but People. Poets, artists, thinkers, writers, doctors, inventors. I think about Jane Austen, she’s dead. I think about Albert Einstein, he’s dead. I think about Socrates, dead. I think about Joan of Arc, she’s dead. I think about Nikola Tesla, he’s dead, too. It helps to think of people whom I admire, or who have contributed to humanity in some way. The reason that part is important is because there is something comforting about knowing that all of these great and talented people succumbed to the same fate in the end… they all died. Death is the great equalizer.
Now, my religious beliefs are aligned somewhere akin to a shoulder shrug, so I may struggle with the fear of my own death more so than someone who has beliefs about what will happen to them when they pass on. I think whatever religion you subscribe to is 100% wonderful, so long as it doesn’t harm you or anyone else in any way. So, by all means, if your religious or spiritual belief system comes with some information about what happens when we die, lean on that! However, my spiritual beliefs are rather lacking in that arena. I’d not describe myself as an atheist, but probably as an agnostic. That term is widely overused, but it really is the closest way I know how to describe my very non-concrete spiritual beliefs. That said, since I don’t have a pre-set definition of what is going to happen to me when I die, I find a lot of comfort in thinking about these other people who have passed. It is almost, I don’t know, fun? That’s the wrong word, but there is something diverting in exploring the idea of meeting Clara in the after life. Or of seeing my Mamaw again. Grief and death are tough, but they are two things, on a very short list, which connect us all as humans. They level the playing field.
So, I don’t know what is going to happen when I die, but whatever it is, Jane Austen is going to be there, and I am pretty sure we’re gonna be besties.
“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience; or give it a more fascinating name: call it hope.” – Jane Austen, Mansfield Park