My Fear Of Death, Uncontrollable Tingles, And A Resting Place

When I think about death I get fairly anxious. I can’t seem to let my mind rest on the topic for very long without my thoughts becoming saturated and heavy. Usually once they start to hold even just a little bit of weight their ability to float effortlessly through the air is considerably diminished and instead they just aggressively plummet, head first towards the ground, leaving behind the most terrifyingly vast and empty crater. 


And that’s the fear – the deep, dark unknown. 


For me, it’s the idea that at some point in time, I might not be me. It’s the thought that if I’m not me, will I even know that I’m not me? It’s not as much about the physical nonexistence but potentially the mental nonexistence as well. Can I at least still be conscious of the fact that I’m not existing? Oooff. So I try to not sit with it for too long. 


The thing is, I don’t have any set belief on what happens after we die. I know as a kid I had lots of cool ideas, one of which was turning into a star yet still being able to think, watch and observe the world – a fantasy only for an introvert I’m sure – but I guess as I got older I threw out some of those ideas, mainly because there couldn’t be any certainty attached to them. 


But isn’t that the whole point? 


Isn’t that one of the many things that makes life so beautiful – the not knowing? 


Shouldn’t that be freeing and liberating? 


…it should – it definitely should. 


But when I’m in it, when I’m staring at that beastly ass crater, it just makes me even more shaky. 


So instead I try to find comfort in the known, or at least what’s known to me. 


There’s a feeling I get when I think about the world and my life. When I think about my family and all the wonderful people I have met, their smiles and their words. When I think about change and growth, and the struggle that it means to be human. When I think about hope, intention, perseverance and love. And it’s all gut wrenchingly deep, incredibly moving, and indescribably grounding. 


In plain and simple terms, it’s a feeling and I live for feelings, every single one of them – the apparent good ones and the apparent bad – because they help me to feel more alive. Simply put, their complicated intricacies are otherworldly, and it’s inspiring and mesmerizing to say the least. 


I trust feelings. I know feelings. And I find a sense of calm within them. 


And one feeling that I absolutely love, one that easily creeps up to the top of my list, is uncontrollable tingles. And in the off chance you don’t know what I mean by that, I’m going to explain. 


It could be a big picture thought you have while driving down an open road. It could be a powerful look or a few simple words from a captivating scene in a movie. It could be a moment of realization or a moment of significant change. Or it could be a fear, or a feeling that you’ve struggled with for so long and just like that, with the snap of a finger, there’s this tiny bit of clarity that starts to surround it. 


And in that moment the feelings just take over. They storm the field. Millions, upon millions of emotionally charged particles start to dance all over your body – they can’t contain themselves. Singing loudly as they rise the goosebumps up, making your hair stand on end, and flooding your neck and head so strongly and forcefully that it feels as though you are being pulled up towards the sky. 


It’s mysterious, it’s otherworldly, it’s majestic, and it’s unknown, and yet at the same time it’s comforting, it’s reassuring, and it’s strangely familiar. 


And in the moment, I don’t necessarily understand why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling, but at the same time there’s a knowing in my gut and there’s a sense of calm in my being, as I realize that this feeling is so much larger than just me. In fact it’s not me at all, but it is me, all at the same time. And I just want to hold on to it forever, even if the backdrop gets a little blurry. My clarity, as to if I’m truly there or not, starts to disappear a little, and I’m actually ok with it. 


So right now, that’s my resting place. That’s where I try to ground myself – somewhere between fear and steadfast certainty, somewhere between the unknown and the known, somewhere between me and not me, and somewhere between nonexistence and feeling; the beautiful, messy, familiar, yet otherworldliness of feeling. Because when I’m there, it feels as though anything is possible, and certainty is merely a cloud that just blocks my view. 


📸 by Meghna R on Unsplash 

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