“Death is a Door…”

“… we all acted alone, we were caught alone, and every one of us will have to die alone. But that doesn’t mean that we are alone.”  (Hans Fallada, 1947)

“Every living creature on earth dies alone.”  (Donnie Darko, 2001)

Donnie Darko and Roberta Sparrow

Donnie Darko and Roberta Sparrow

“Everybody dies alone.”  (Firefly, 2002)

“Son. Everyone dies alone. That’s what it is. It’s a door. It’s one person wide. When you go through it, you do it alone.”  (Dead Beat, 2005)

Are you afraid to die?  It seems like a simple question, but it requires you to be brutally honest with yourself.  What are your beliefs?  Are you religious?  Do you actually believe your religion’s tenants on death and afterlife?  

I suppose it could make a difference to you if you genuinely felt God will be with you when you shuffle off the mortal coil.   But I imagine some people clutch to their ideas of an afterlife specifically to keep at bay the terrors of death.  What happens when we die?  Do we just cease to exist?  I for one can’t conceive of not being aware, not being able to think.  

Have you ever had a serious illness or injury and felt that black stab of panic?  Am I going to die?  Maybe you’ve just been in a significant amount of pain and felt like you would die. (If you’ve ever had a migraine, you might sympathize with the thought of wishing for death, or at the very least, a long narcotic induced oblivion.)  I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks sometimes as well, which can make even a non-life-threatening situation feel exponentially worse. Suddenly, you think that migraine may actually kill you…just give you a stroke or something.

In these moments, that’s when our true feelings about death surface.

I’d like to think if my family was on a plane and it was going down, I’d be okay as long as my last moments were spent with those dearest to me, my husband and child.  But it’s been my experience that when you are in that moment of fear, panicked, you are completely alone.  

Don’t get me wrong.  Not every death is untimely or traumatic.  You may die of old age, going peacefully in your sleep, or surrounded by loved ones, but death is a door and it’s only one person wide.  We all walk through it alone.

16 responses to ““Death is a Door…”

  1. I’ve been dreaming repeatedly on how I’m gonna die; someone killing me right before getting into my apartment, it’s been going on for a couple of weeks already. I find myself looking around before pulling my keys out.

  2. I find I’m a little more afraid to die each year. It’s not a big thing. I’m probably most concerned that I don’t break with family tradition and end up dying in a hospital.

    • Yes, I was hoping by the time I go, I’ll have this whole “fear of dying” thing mostly sorted out. Of course, now that I have a child, my primary concern is for her, her safety, and leaving her behind. Missing out on seeing her grow up.

  3. It always blows my mind when I actually think about dying, and know that it’s going to happen to me and I have no idea when. Heavy thought. I’m not afraid of it, though, because I don’t believe this life is all there is.

    What I am afraid of is how it might happen. I just hope it isn’t prolonged and painful.

    • I wish I did believe there was more. I want to, but deep down, I think if I did believe that, I wouldn’t be afraid. I am too analytical and empirical in my thinking to go for the whole biblical explanation, you know?

      • Understood. I hope fear isn’t what is keeping you from pursuing the idea further. Also, there are plenty of extremely analytical people who believe in the Bible. The two are not mutually exclusive. There is always an element of faith, yes, but I think if you were to keep digging, you’d find answers. All my best in your pursuit.

        • They don’t have to be mutually exclusive, I guess, as long as you agree the Bible requires interpretation. Otherwise, I don’t see how a person could be scientific minded and yet still believe the Earth is only 6000 years old and was created in seven days. If people can reconcile their faith and science, that’s great. I haven’t found an acceptable way to do that yet though. 😦

  4. Pingback: I dreamed a dream « Doggy's Style

  5. One of my all-time favourite and thought-provoking quotes:
    “I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
    ― Mark Twain

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