When did you first realize that life is short?

It happened to my sister and I when we were less than ten years old.

It was past midnight, and my parents had gone to a business party. We were home with my grandparents, but they had already gone to sleep. I was sound asleep in my room, when my sister woke me up, crying about how her stomach hurt. Given about how we were around 7 and 9 years old, I was pretty scared for her. We went into my parents’ bathroom, and after she had silently thrown up in the toilet and was crying quietly, she asked me in a small voice: “Am I gonna die tonight?”

WHAT A HORRIBLE SISTER I WAS! I responded slowly, in a quavering voice, “Yeah, I think so.”

And we just sat next to each other and cried for about 10 minutes, wailing things like:

I don’t want to die. I’m scared that it will hurt. I’m scared of when it’s going to happen.

Eventually she came with me to sleep in my bed for that night, curled up in a tiny twin size. The next day, she felt fine and I totally forgot about our sobfest the previous night. For many years, I didn’t even think about death. I’m conflicted about my feelings about the fact that I’ve never experienced anyone close to me die before. My childhood has been exposed to nothing but life. I haven’t considered the concept of death, but I was recently tempted to answer this prompt:

When did you first realize that life is short?

In my experience, I realized the brevity of life before death well before my tenth birthday. It depressed me horribly for a few hours, but then I never thought about it again. Until now, that is.

To sum up my feelings towards the idea of dying, I’m not exactly scared of it. The only fear that I feel towards it is when I think about what might happen if I stop living before I accomplish my life goal, which is to make a social difference in the world.

A great quote that I recently stumbled upon has greatly inspired me.

“There are two great days of a person’s life. The day we are born and the day we discover why”- William Barclay

I think I have already discovered why, but I don’t want to go without actually making that epiphany happen. What a waste that would be!

I’m only scared to die if I go in a terrible way, something that was painful and slow and excruciating. And for some bizarre reason, I’m inspired to write a post about “How to Avoid Being Killed.” More on that later though.

I’ve no clue what happens after I die. Maybe I go to heaven. Maybe I’m reincarnated. Maybe it can be explained by a religion that doesn’t exist on earth. Perhaps nothing happens, and our corpses just rot and decompose in the world, creating fossil fuels and indirectly sustaining life for others in the future. Hm, what an idea. Physically, that does happen.

Death could literally be lurking around the corner; I could be here one moment, and the next, gone. The funny thing about life is that we can never estimate how long we have until we’re gone. It makes me want to live in the moment. But there’s always got to be a balance. (I’ll post about that later)

I’m curious about death. I don’t want to die, but not because I’m scared of it. I want to keep living because although the world is so unjust and horrible, I was born to do something about it. I wasn’t created to just consume food and air and watch my life go by.

DEATH – I SALUTE YOU! I don’t need no Invisibility Cloak to elude you; I’ll go when the time’s right.


  1. tfaswift

    I like your approach towards death. To most people it (certainly in western culture) it is a most terrifying concept. I grew up in Asia, so maybe that’s partly why I’m not afraid of it either. I don’t relish the idea of suffering pain during the dying process, but being dead doesn’t bother me. You seem like a nice open-minded person. I’m actually trying to do a poll on my blog asking people (anonymously) to vote as to whether or not they believe in past lives/reincarnation. I don’t have that many followers and most of them are seriously reluctant to just click a button and make a choice. Would you be so kind as to visit my blog and see if you’d like to give your input? Here’s the link just in case you’d be willing: http://tfaswift.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/do-you-believe-1/ I’d really appreciate it. My name is Tilda and I’m always looking to meet new bloggers who think outside the box, which it seems to me like you do. :-)


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