Sometimes, I have good thoughts. They’re all of the pretty variety- golden blooms, blue waves, sunshiny skies.

Other days, the dark thoughts find me, creeping into the worst parts of my mind and opening vaults that should be left untouched.

These latter thoughts are especially likely to manifest when my mind is unoccupied. When I’m sick, physically, it’s the perfect time for the Bad Thought Brigade (I just made that up) to come trooping in, armed to the teeth.

Until last year, I’d shy away from them, pushing them down into a space where I thought I’d locked them in for good; Only to discover that they’d re-emerge from another crack in the vault.

Almost always, these thoughts would revolve around death. They’d manifest significantly, after I’d heard about the passing of someone in my circle.

In January alone, it happened to two people close to me. Both of them lost kin. One was sudden, unexpected. The other, though expected, still carried the weight of loss in all its fragility.

I’ve taken the whole month to come to grips with this phenomenon, this certainty called death.

While I used to fear it earlier, it now faces me with the wooden stoicism of a totem pole.

No fear ; just certainty. That’s the thing with thoughts. They tend to change, in shape and manifestation. ‘Bad thoughts’ can transform into neutral ones.

T-Minus 14000.

I have no idea how many years I have left to live. Assuming I take decent care of myself, I’m going to say I’ll last another 38 years or 14,000 days.

Put like that, it doesn’t seem like much. I can’t squander gobs of precious minutes online, without a sense of purpose.

But the truth is, I’m now ready. Ready to understand that I can’t spend what’s left of my life in bitterness, anger, outrage, self-pity or defeat.

Ready to face what life brings or the fact that death awaits.

Ready to say it out loud and do it without a quaver in my voice.

I’m unafraid

5 thoughts on “Unafraid: T-Minus 14,000

  1. I’m 55 and I’m still not at peace with death, maybe because I’m a two-time cancer survivor and I’m still worried about leaving too soon. But it’s not super intrusive and for sure doesn’t keep me from living life the way I should.

  2. I recently read Sanch’s thoughts on death. The worst (or perhaps the best) thing about death is its uncertainty. We can do what we will with that thought. We can let the uncertainty consume us with worry or let it go and live our lives fully. I am glad you’re in the better place Shailaja. Hope you get well soon and are back on your feet.

  3. I was thinking about death a great deal late last year. As you said, we don’t know how long we will live for so we just need to live now and make the most of things, add meaning to our lives and live with purpose. Death anxiety is an actual thing. But worrying about death stops us from living. Do read the book ‘If cats disappeared from the world’ – it’s really quite beautiful.

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