The past week or so have been a real eye opener for me. A good friend is gone, way before their time and it's helped me realise just how short - and yet, precious - life really is. Just like *that* it can end, in the blink of an eye, and your journey is over for good. There be no second chances.
That's it; once you're dead there's nothing left but a body, an empty shell. All that you were has faded away, and you become nothing more but a collective of memories for those unlucky people you've left behind.
It's true to say that I've been scared of death (and the fact that one day I too will die) ever since I was a child. I remember when I was a cub scout in the 1990's, exploring a graveyard near to the scout den, and seeing all of these graves from 100, or 200, even 300 years ago. And aged just eight or nine, I realised that I'd end up there too.
Growing up, that fact has haunted me, even when the rational side of me screams out that every journey must have an end. Every time I pass a graveyard or hear of another person's passing, my stomach knots up - like it's a reminder from Death that he hasn't forgotten about me after all, and will come to make his collection in due time.
It's one reason why I refuse to stand on other people's graves; not out of respect for the dead (it's hard to warrant respect for a corpse I never knew, or will never meet) but because one day I'll be down there in my 'eternal sleep' and I want to disassociate myself from death, and what occurs after it, as much as I can.
If it's possible, I live with death every day - seeing elderly relatives become weaker and weaker, or old people on the bus, or the sick. But I choose to store it away, like we all do, at the back of my mind. I don't need reminding of my own mortality. I choose to live my life everyday as fully as I can. When death comes, at least I can say that I lived as fully as I could and never missed an opportunity. Not once. Not for the world.
And that's what the last week has taught me; I'll always fear death, but I fear lots of things I don't understand. The only way I've got to conquer that fear is to simply live my life. I've got to live all my days on this tiny little world as a celebration; because life is short, and there's no time for anything else.
That's why I choose to spend all my free time writing my scripts, like "Cigarettes and Paranoia". Like "Frank's Apocalypse". Like so many other things, including this blog. Because after I'm gone, it's those things that will define my humanity; my legacy.
I might die, but a part of me will live forever.
And you know what? That's not scary at all.