I don’t want to appear to be minimizing or belittling anyone’s anxiety about what is happening with this virus – it is truly scary and unsettling.
That being said, I am typically a rather anxious person, so it has surprised me a bit to see how comparatively little anxiety I have about the whole situation. I’ve been able to focus pretty well on my own circles of control/influence and keep a pretty even keel so far. I am even getting along with DH somewhat better as I try to be the calm adult in the house (he is freaking out a lot more about both the virus and the markets) – have found it easier to put some things on the back burner or just drop them for now, as they will resolve in time as we move back toward a more normal life.
I think one part of this is that I am very comfortable with my own mortality. Maybe it is having been through some traumatic experiences with the sudden death of those close to me when I was young – I know you can be gone in an instant. Maybe it is having walked away from several car accidents that could have killed me. Maybe it was helping my mom make the decision to start taking morphine as her congestive heart failure worsened. I do know I don’t want to put my family or doctors through having to make decisions if I end up getting this thing and need a vent. It should probably go to someone else. I’m 51 and despite some struggles have had a mostly great life. My family will be fine without me financially, and hopefully emotionally. I am not suicidal – I definitely don’t want to die. But if the shit hits the fan and tough decisions have to be made, I think I would be ready to tell the doctors to give that vent to the 35 year old parent with toddlers at home. Or the 21 year old college student whose whole life is still ahead of them. They need it more than I do. And knowing I could make that decision gives me some peace.
I am and I’m not! I think…there are a lot of things that scare me more than death, so maybe that’s part of it. I also had to confront my own mortality so early in life, and I think having my body degrade at the rate it is means it’s not a thing I’ve ever really taken for granted. I believe it has a LOT to do with my worldview and has generally, on the whole, made me much happier and less anxious in general. I would say I perceive the average person as being quite a lot more anxious than I am, about everything, and much more afraid of change. I get waves of fear about the road to death though, lol, but not moreso now than at any other time in my life. I try to just not think about that!
Also, thought of death to me is like, a relief at certain times, it’s nice to know that I won’t always exist in the state I’m in now. I am not ready to die today, and if I were facing it in a real way today I would be very very scared. But I trust that when it is my time, I will have hopefully earned the wisdom to accept it and meet it well, just like I’ve been able to accept and meet the other…interesting circumstances I’ve had. But I wouldn’t say there’s no fear at all, I have a VERY strong survival instinct.
On the other side, though, I think without mortality life would be so so so different in ways we can’t possibly know. Would love still exist? Would we laugh as much? Love would definitely feel different, I think, it wouldn’t be tinged with the knowledge that it’s impermanent…maybe that would weaken it? What would art be like? Would we hurry to invent and do and make like we do now? I don’t know!
So I guess, I am afraid of death today. I don’t think I will be always, in the exact same way I am. But also I respect it and I’m thankful for the temporary nature of life. Even mountains crumble! Who am I to expect or want or crave something not even mountains or planets or stars get?
Back when I was so sick with an aggressive case of a life-threatening disease, I discovered that I was afraid of [the process of] dying, but totally at peace with being dead. It only applies to me, though, or at least those in older generations. I have a great deal of anxiety about my children’s mortality.
I feel very similarly. Like, I really enjoy most parts of my life and I am mostly happy despite struggles I have. But it is a relief to know I won’t be alive…forever. If that makes sense. My mom always says “I want to live to be over 100 years old” and I think to myself…that just seems like a long time to be alive (IMO). But yes, facing death today would terrify me. I do not feel ready to die at any time. But I also have a much lesser fear of death than I did 5 years ago, even 2 years ago.
I’m not afraid of being dead, but I’m afraid of suffering and the process of dying.
But I don’t know if that is how I’d still feel if I were faced with imminent death. My dad (who died from lymphoma) always said he wanted to take the planned way out, but when it came down to signing the paperwork, which had to be done a month in advance, he just never did it. I think he was afraid until the last few weeks, and then he was at peace with what was to happen.
I would be a lot more afraid if I had children…
I feel like I’ve had a pretty good life, with not much to regret. That gives me peace.
Honestly, fear of dying is probably last on my list of concerns.
My fear of having to spend the rest of my life quarantined in my house and unable to live life as I choose (whcih as you all know chiefly involves GTFO of the frozen abyss of ice and sadness, but also other things) is far greater.
I know that seems unreasonable to assume that our lives are 24-7 quarantine from now until we’re dead… but, well, I read a lot of apocalypse fiction.
I’m also afraid of becoming disabled from this and being a burden on Boyfriend, being unable to access care due to our health system being fuct, etc. But the actual dying? Meh.
I used to be totally cool with it. Now I have a kid strapped to me (literally). So I’m not okay with it. He needs taking care of.
But also…I’m not at all worried about catching COVID. I’m very que sera sera about it. If I didn’t know that this distancing is for the herd, I couldn’t do it. I dont even think that I could do it if I just thought of my mum or my grandad or my baby or tiny baby or my aunt… none of those individual lives matter in the big picture. But decimating our healthcare system and causing tons more deaths is a huge problem. So I avoid going out, I wash my hands when I get home. But I’m not washing sealed packaging. That seems trivial and just for me.
So my quality of life is down as a gift to society. I am doing the right thing. But if I die (providing my baby is okay and has a caretaker) I die.
Definitely no desire to die until it’s closer to “my time” because of family that needs and loves me, friends I want to grow with, all sorts of reasons, but outside of a long, suffering death…once I’m dead I’m either wrong about what I believe (in which case it doesn’t matter) or I’m right (in which case it’s a new journey and quite exciting in its own way).
Yeah. As far as for myself, I have had a lot of happiness in my life, especially in the past decade. I have had a good and lucky life. If who
I am today is the final and best iteration of me I am proud of becoming that person.
But I have little kids and I want them to have their mom while they are growing up. Of course there can be substitutes but even if I could be entirely replaced I think having me die anytime soon would really hurt my family psychologically. I want to be there for them.
Also, in the past half decade I have started doing work that really helps people. I want to help more people. (So maybe that’s 50% for me, 50% for them?)