A few days ago, I was watching the Olympics, and right before the women's ski halfpipe, there was a story about the woman who had done all she could to make sure that sport was added to the Olympic roster. I'd missed the first few minutes of it -- grabbing a pop or whatever -- and it took me a bit to notice they were talking about her in the past tense. "Oh no," I realized, " she died."
I watched the whole thing. Her husband spoke, her parents spoke. It was a really moving piece. They showed a beautiful procession other skiiers and snowboarders had held in this woman's honor, I got all teary eyed, and then, about two seconds later, I was in the middle of a panic attack because one day I was going to die too. I'm a hypochondriac, and my hypochondria has always stemmed from my fear of death (something I've had virtually my whole life, since my grandpa died when I was 6), but I've never been so... aware of the inevitability. And now I just can't stop thinking about it. I keep trying for distractions, but somehow it manages to sneak up on me even in the middle of playing video games.
I'm religious, which helps to an extent, but I get so worked up over the idea of "stopping." I can't fathom it. I know there's the whole, "Before you were born you didn't know any better!" philosophy, but the idea of nonexistence: of my memories, and my thoughts and feelings, of all of that just being gone... I really, really can't handle it.
I'm only 22 now (which by itself is horrifying; sometimes all I can think is, "A quarter of my life is over," and it makes me cry), and I know I've got a good future ahead of me. I want to appreciate it and enjoy it and live it as much as I possibly can, but I get so hung up about the end that everything else comes to a screeching halt. How does anyone else deal with this?