This Is How Death Scares Us When We’re Only 22


When I think about my life I plan on living to be 100, because I have too many goals and dreams I wouldn’t accomplish if I had even a moment less than that. I’m 22 and figure I have at least a solid 78 years left, but realistically that’s not the case. A coworker passed away at 68 last week, a classmate of mine passed away last month at 25 years old, and a friend’s parent died at 58 just two months ago. Life has been continually reminding me just how short it is and that 100 years may be a bit lofty.

Death scares me, but not because I’m afraid to die. Death scares me because I imagine my mom finding out I’m gone and sleeping in my bedroom at night and my dad holding onto the stuffed kitty he bought me to comfort me my freshman year of college. It scares me because my sister and brother won’t have me to lead the way and get in trouble for everything first. It scares me that my friends and roommates would have to walk by an empty room filled with signs of life, but frozen in time. Does debt go away when you die? Because man, 5 years at a university has loaded me with that…not to mention all the money I owe to acquaintances over the years for a coffee here and a Panini there. I’m hoping that would get chalked up to circumstance. Mainly I am terrified of leaving promises unfulfilled, plane tickets unused, hearts unsure if I loved them.

I’m too young and naive to understand that we, as humans, aren’t invincible. If someone is loved so strongly by so many, how could they pass? If an individual is needed as an advocate and a voice for so many without, how can that be taken away?

Funerals don’t help my understanding; surely this shell of a human being is fake. If this were them then where are the soft lines of their dimples when they smile, why is their hair styled in a way they’ve never done before, and dear lord who picked out this outfit? The people in these wooden boxes cannot be real. Surely hearts so strong and accepting could not have suddenly stopped.

As I lay here planning out my next 78 years I realize I am afraid of death. But how could I ever fully understand? I’m young and invincible. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog