It is ironic that I have called my blog ‘no such thing as never’ when, at the moment, I am so aware that there is a “never”.
I am not very good with the thought of death.
Whilst I used to swallow the fear or convert it into something tangible, I have noticed that the real source has been harder to avoid in recent months. I have found it increasingly difficult not to allow the fear to swell –
I know, only too well, that it can stop you from living.
Critchley (in the wonderfully titled ‘How to Stop Living and Start Worrying’) says that, today, death is still taboo. I have found an unexpected consolation in philosophy texts. I expected psychology to provide a few answers but it has, instead, been older wisdom that has resonated the most. When death is a reminder of the ultimate isolation, it helps to find connections which are a reminder that the experience is shared –
To some extent.
It feels morbid to write about mortality, uncomfortable to acknowledge how much it plays on my mind. It is frustrating, albeit understandable, that the more I find to love about living, the more aware I am of just how fragile and precarious the whole thing is.
I have been trying to understand how other people experience this. How they accept the limitation. How they manage or find relief from the fear. The answers are similar. That the tension only arises when you believe that you can control the uncontrollable. That life is a gift and the best way to experience it is to live within that moment. That death is easier to consider when you live a life without regrets. That it is the finite nature of life which makes it so precious and provides the motivation to make every minute count. That loss is sad and painful – but part of the deal.
I feel like I should have worked all this through 15 years ago, but I am still finding myself resisting the terms.