Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mortality and the Fear of Dying Alone

My uncle died earlier this week.
He was found on the floor in his apartment several days after the fact because he was missed at work. He apparently died of a “catastrophic event” (heart attack, stroke, etc).
When I heard this, of course I began to grieve. Losing a family member is always hard. But more than that, whenever death strikes close to home; strikes those that share your genes—or those that pursue your same adventures—it is a shocking reminder of your own mortality.
I have been barely able to sleep since I found out. Over and over in my head plays the image of my uncle dropping to the floor, knowing he was dying, and lying there til the end came.
How long? A few seconds? A few hours? I know there is nothing I can do to change history, but I still grieve for him and for the circumstances of his passing.
I cry, not only for him, but because I’ve realized my own underlying fear of being alone. Of dying alone. This just reminds me of how possible it is.
Oddly, for someone who frequently prefers to run alone, hike alone, live alone, think alone and just be alone, I am terrified of long term aloneness. Although, isn’t everyone?
Isn’t this why we have an endless amount of dating sites, singles groups, and strings of failed relationships in our pasts? God started the whole thing with, “It is not good that man should be alone”. And here we are.
I am comfortable with being alone. I don’t need to be constantly wrapped up in and entertained by another human being, but when it comes to acceptance, love, and forever, I have to admit, I want someone there.
Especially when I die.
2011 is going to bring about new challenges of how to be alone. They scare me, but somehow I have to gain the courage to face them.
I wish I could have been there to help Ronnie face the inevitable so he wouldn’t have been alone.

And please God, don’t let that happen to me.


  1. I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this... and that your uncle had to go through that. Love & prayers to you and your family.

  2. thank you, Jenna. I really appreciate your love and prayers.