I used to be afraid to die. When I was a teenager and even through my early twenties I lived with a constant anxiety about the existence or not of an afterlife. My mind sort of, cracked, at the idea of an endless sleep. And even my semi religious upbringing couldn't answer (well enough) the timeless questions of the cosmos.
And then somewhere along the road of life I learned something so very, very important. Heaven is all around us. Okay... give me a second to explain.
Part of my problem with the whole idea of death is this crazy concept of eternity. I mean, what can you do for an eternity? It seemed like a prison. It used to make me claustrophobic and sweaty.
Until I experienced moments that I knew I could exist inside forever. Really. Moments of perfect heaven. Places where I could stay and never leave and always be happy.
Laying on the couch with my mother when I was a little girl watching black and white movies on PBS. Candlelight flickering, cigarette smoke in the air. My mother's Chanel #5. I could stay there, heaven. You can put me there.
Holding my third baby. Grace. When everyone was gone and it was just us. Holding her sweet, tiny body against mine. She was all swaddled and pink and round. I was comfortable and pretty. Her breathing made my heart beat. I could stay there, heaven. You can put me there.
Sitting on my father's back porch in Florida. Drinking strong coffee and talking about nothing. Just being there and being wanted. Our feet up, relaxed... nothing but time in front of us. I could stay there, heaven. You can put me there.
And so I'm not afraid of that anymore... that thing that ends life. Too many people live with fear. It stops them from living. I've learned not to be afraid. Press on.
Oh, and before I get a slew of comments worried that I have some terrible disease. I DO NOT. I am REALLY HEALTHY! Just thinking about fear. That's all.