I was reading a book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior last night before bed. The author was talking about a dream scenario in which he died, decomposed and became part of the animals that fed on him, and the plants he nourished. His consciousness lived on, and he witnessed this with joy.

GOOD FOR HIM! I on the other hand was completely freaked out! I put the book down and literally cried myself to sleep, but not before I had an epiphany.

See, death has ALWAYS been an issue for me. I used to be an intense germ-o-phobe and hypochondriac. Luckily I’m not as worried anymore, mostly because each day I go without dying loosens my paranoia. Now I’m accused of not being cautious enough. At any rate, death is still a distracting concern for me.

I read the book Twilight, and liked it…too much. Basically, it’s about vampires who live normal human lives (minus their diet) and get to live happily ever after with their spouses and families. Literally ever after too, because they’re immortal. Damn if that didn’t sound good to me! I like my life very much, so the idea of getting to keep it is a tempting one. I’m not the only one though, right?

Here’s where I seem to differ from the norm. Even if my life sucked, I would still long for that scenario. It’s not the uncertainty of what might happen to my soul after I die that gets me. It’s what I know will happen to my body. The thought of decomposing scares the absolute shit out of me. Or being eaten. Or being burned. In fact the only appealing way I can think of to die would just be to *poof* cease to exist. No burial, no cremation, no remains whatsoever. Intellectually I understand this is silly. Intellectual knowledge seems to have no effect on my emotions, however.

So what’s the big idea here? Why is this such a huge deal for me? I realized it has a lot to do with my vision. I have a real aversion to things that I consider ugly, and likewise a love for beauty. Please feel free to judge that as you will. I feel deep satisfaction gazing at natural vistas, at art, at flowers, architecture, etc. On the other hand I hate certain bugs I consider hideous (which is most of them), monsters, slasher movies, human remains on forensic shows, roadkill, and skeletons. Change isn’t the issue here, as I like wrinkles and grey hair. I consider those things beautiful. Decomp is another thing.

What these all have in common is that they are all gathered through sight. The feeling of bugs crawling on my arm isn’t particularly unpleasant. Neither is the taste of certain exotic foods I’m too chicken to eat. I can’t help but think that I would be less inhibited if I didn’t have my sense of sight. What if I never knew what a dead body looked like? A human heart feels slimy and firm. Big deal. Obviously it’s not my other senses that are causing an issue. I’ve always known that my sense of sight is what I rely on the most, but I never thought of it as distracting to the point of causing irrational fears.

So I wonder if being blind would have prevented my fear of death (at least in the way that I’m afraid of it.)

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