Dying 24-7, Thinking About It 24-7

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To: Crecente
From: Ashcraft

Ever since I went to my wife’s grandmother’s funeral late last year and saw her skull cracked open with chopsticks, I’m been thinking about death. Probably too much and obsessively so. The realization that, yes, right now, me, you and everyone who reads this is dying — some slower than others. The air we breath is killing us. This ate at me, chewing at my insides. I thought I liked this moment, why do things have to end, why do things have to change.

It really disturbed me.

What I remember: Sitting around the dinner table, looking over at my wife and son and thinking, “Right now, we are together.” My son talking incessantly about some toy, my wife telling him to shuddup and eat his green peppers. I wanted to take that moment, and stop it there. Forever. A never ending meal, if you like. Because we won’t able be sitting around that little table, together.

Perhaps, it has something to do with me turning 30 this year. Perhaps it’s a premature mid-life crisis. Perhaps it was the slow sinking feeling of my own mortality. To keep my mind off this, I threw myself into my work, which helped to an extent. But, then I’d be hit with that sinking feeling again during long walks and deep pauses.

Last night, I’m about fall alseep, and I tell my wife that I can’t stop thinking about this. That it’s wrapped itself around me and dug in deep.

“Everyone has to die,” she says, turning over. “There’s nothing that you can do about that. The trick is hanging around as long as possible. Besides,” she add, “not dying would be worse.”

Maybe it was the way she said it, or the fact that she was willing to listen to me babble on about insecurities and fears. But it made me feel happy and better and warm.

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