No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in the stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.
– C.S. Lewis
I keep trying to write this post and find it hard to type the words. A couple of years ago, I wrote about how death is like taking someone to the airport. That feels truer to me now than ever.
I think about death a lot, actually. Maybe not death as itself, as the thing where someone stops breathing or as the moving from one plane to the next or even as the lack of being in the universe -- I just keep thinking about how death means separation. Separation from your earthly body, separation from the people you love who are here, present in the world.
I think about death a lot. I think it must be hardest on the people who are left, the ones who haven’t left the ground yet. You know that panicky, sick feeling you get when you’re saying goodbye to someone and you know it might be a long time before you see them again and you think, I can’t NOT be with you in the world? That’s what makes me afraid. I keep hearing Heathcliff in my head: “Be with me always…only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God, it is unutterable. I cannot live without my life. I cannot live without my soul.”
I know that death does not have to mean eternal separation. But I can’t imagine anything harder or more frightening than that earthly separation. I am not afraid of death. I am not afraid of dying. I am afraid of being left behind.
PS: I’ve missed a week of blogging for the Blog Every Day in May challenge but I am determined to catch up. My apologies, in advance, to your blog feed.