The worst part about everything is how much it scares me. I imagine it’s like driving a car every day of your life and feeling safe—until the moment it rips you in half and explodes into a thousand projectile pieces. Then, at least, in the momentary quake of dying, you have no time to be afraid.
And I wish it made sense. But, you see, it’s cruel and unfair. Some days, it’s downright duplicitous. My grandmother—stodgy old woman that she was on Sundays—smoked like Chernobyl until the day she died. Peacefully. At rest.
But my grandfather quaked with lung cancer. My uncle shook with alcoholism. They were happy men and satisfied, but it catches you one afternoon as you run the wheel of habit; it knocks you out of the cage. You only remember how to do one thing anymore: drink, smoke, sniff, eat, starve. And die.
I should be a happy Christian, cheerful and stuck on salvation. But it’s not a remedy—just a distraction. Death is still death is now death. And from it my dear grandparents suffered, and many before, and many since. And I should just accept it and move on.
But the worst part about death is that it crumples everything. Nothing alive eludes it, and nothing of faith does away with the fall of flesh. I am a believer, but I still tremble to think that death is near.
You may say: Then do not drive in cars; do not smoke; do not eat what harms you; do not drink what spoils your health. But I say: Then I have made fear of death my life. And what a sorry shackle that is around my neck. Perhaps, I say, that I would rather raise a glass to Madame Morte than crouch in boxes away from light and laughter.
Perhaps. But I am scared. And I still run the wheel.