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Why I'm No Longer Afraid of Dying From My Illness

My nan always used to encourage me to share my emotions. To cry when needed, to express myself and more importantly to explore all emotions and feelings that I experience.

Death is one of those feelings/emotions and something I think about often. As someone living with a serious illness, it crosses my mind every now and again. I wonder at what age my body will make the decision to leave this world. How I will feel and what will happen.

Due to the nature of my illness, I am fully aware that I may not live as long as your average person. In fact, it’s probably highly unlikely that I will. I lay in bed some nights and feel scared by that thought. I fear I’ll be missing out and that I won’t have achieved all I want.

I have been around and confronted with death on various occasions. Grief is the worst part of death, when you lose friends who have been on similar journeys to you — you see them fade away and the next thing you know, they’re gone. Illness was too much for their bodies.

Every time I’ve lost a loved one or friend to illness, my heart smashes into a million pieces. All of a sudden I am overcome with worry and fear about when my illness will be too much for my body, too. I sit and wish disease didn’t have to take control in such a way. The truth is, those of us living with it will have never had a choice and we never will. Our bodies don’t ask for illness, they are forced.

More recently something incredible happened with my thoughts on death. I went through something I will never forget it! While I am not able to share what it was exactly, I can share the realization it made me come to.

During this particular time, I was pushed to the limits in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I was asked to become things I didn’t think I could be and I was put in situations I simply had to get on with.

Then out of nowhere, I was immersed into the thought of death, almost like I was faced with death for a split second. As absurd as this may sound, it was an incredible moment for me. I was shocked and surprised, but at the same time so grateful this happened. I’m grateful because it was a massive moment of realization.

I realized it is only when I die that I will be free from all illness and disease. When I leave this earth, my body will be at it’s purest. My body will be free.

woman standing in front of a car and bullseye sign

It was like the thought of death no longer upset or scared me. I’m not saying I want to die (touch wood that doesn’t happen anytime soon), but it brought me a lot of comfort and I felt a calm I have never felt before.

You see, my body has lived with this disease its whole life. It has been broken from the get-go. There has never been and there never will be a time when I will be healthy. While I have mentally learned to deal with and face all the challenges my body goes through, my body itself has been trapped by disease.

When you are faced with death head-on, it can be the scariest feeling in the world. A world of the unknown. While I used to fear or worry about it, that recent event gave me a real sense of clarity.

The time will come when I am laid to rest. My heart will no longer beat. Blood won’t flow through my veins and my shallow breaths will be no more, but my body will be free. I will be free.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one unexpected source of comfort when it comes to your (or a loved one’s) disability and/or disease? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.
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