I Am The Passenger

 I woke up this morning with a bad case of the blues. I’m not really sure what to write. Depression has her way with me in my sleep and then clings to me like a caul when my eyes open and I have to pretend to be functional. 

Things seem OK, then not OK. The tiny tragedies that make me crumble taper off, then return in a full-force gale. I can’t handle some of the basic pressures of being alive. There seems to be no end-game or goal – no purpose – to any of it. We are born. We become instruments of a machine far larger than our minds can comprehend. We reproduce. We die. 

We die. 

What an impossible burden to place on a species, the consciousness of death. And we, among all of our neighbors on this planet, are alone in our understanding of Death’s inevitability. I’m not sure the natural world would function so well if animals had the capacity to understand life’s inescapable impermanence. The ants would stop building hills. My dog would become listless and stop chewing his bone or wanting to play fetch. My cats would stop running and jumping around like possessed squirrels. That should have been an old Twilight Zone episode. “Death Spills the Beans.” Why us? Why should we have to deal with this shit, and how could we possibly be equipped to? It’s fucking scary. Animals are frightened of thunderstorms. Imagine if they knew the truth. It’s enough to make any sentient being immediately insane. This – staring down Death’s black mouth every day while we pretend everything will be just fine – this and opposable thumbs separate us from animals. And the divide is a chasm.

 It’s hard to understand how anyone even gets out of bed knowing they could cease to exist at any moment. I envy religious people of their ignorance and blind confidence that when they die, they’re going somewhere better and will join all their lost loved ones in some celestial bliss factory. I imagine holding this firm, true belief makes you a much happier person. How could it not? But I can’t get myself there. It’s too symmetrical, too fair. Which spells…false. We aren’t going anywhere. You can try to escape to any nook or cranny of the Earth, or even outer space, and it’ll find you. 

We are just passengers along for this strange ride until we meet Death, that whimsical little asshole of a harbinger who wreaks havoc upon whatever he touches. No matter how many people we cherish and who cherish us back, we are alone on our rides toward reckoning. 

I’m scared. Are you?

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373 thoughts on “I Am The Passenger

  1. Very well written and interesting perspective. Your words really pain a picture. I too deal with depression as a result of borderline personality, sometimes crippling anxiety and ADHD. While I consider myself religious, death can still scare the hell out of me. I hope that you are able to find some peace through your writing. Sending your love, light and good thoughts.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. While I cannot prove this, I believe there is no death.
    Only Life.
    I’m trying not to waste a second of it regretting my past or worrying over future things that may never happen. Now is what matters.
    I also feel we create our own heaven (here) and hell. I try to be consciously aware of my thoughts and where they take me, because my world is created by my thoughts. I also believe everything I need will be found within, and in silence and stillness, my answers will come.
    I wish you deep peace and I thank you for sharing your heart. You are a very brave and beautiful soul. Blessings and peace to you.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. “Death, that whimsical little asshole of a harbinger…”
    In a post full of admirable qualities, I was strangely impressed by how well vulgarity was employed here, sparingly and without altering the tone.
    I think it’s less that animals are unaware of death than that they simply accept and live in the moment. Our problem isn’t that we know more, it’s that we honestly believe we can change things by thinking about them a whole lot. Often happiness lies in being fully engaged in what’s happening now. Hard, sometimes, to do.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I haven’t but I’ll definitely check them out. I’ve read a lot of classic books on existentialism, though. Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, etc.

      Like

  4. Death…the only truth in this world..the only thing that’s certain..Though its time isn’t..
    According to me personally.. Death isn’t the actual thing we fear..the thing we fear is ‘will I die before I……’ We fear that death myt touch us before we achieve a that we want in our life..before we do all that we have always wanted to do.. We fear ‘death before time’.. Well nevertheless..It gives us a different meaning too then..To live each day to its fullest . I know not really easy.. But we can atleast do one thing in a day that makes us really happy.. One little thing..like writing down ur thghts.. Eating at ur fav joint arnd the area.. Or maybe just catching a quick nap..or maybe wear something you always wanted to..go somwhr..or just take a stroll outside…all by urslf..enjoying the beauty of the busy street.. Or maybe walk down to the mall to see a baby smiling at you.. Simply anything that makes u really happy from inside.. In this busy and so-much-to-do-today kinda world..take out a few minutes for yourself everyday.. And do the thing which u want to at that very moment.. So even if death approaches the next day, u can die in content.. Basically end every day with the satisfaction that u did something make urslf happy today rather than the fear that u may die tomorrow..
    But beautifully written.. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. If I have lived my life with the conviction and passion of making each moment count I’ll meet death like an old friend. No m not scared. One day any day any heartbeat death will decide to greet me. That could be it .the end .and all my struggles n worries n problems will cease right then . I’ll leave as a free spirit. Several loads lighter. Having lived n laughed n loved. With my soul coloured in more hues than it came with.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I think death is part of that journey. We might get lost. Or we might forever “sail” into oblivion. It’s a matter of belief. According to the Hindus, you would keep coming back to earth till you live a life that’s fair and just and righteous. When you do, you’ll finally “rest in peace”.
    Loved your piece.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Very well written
    But death is inevitable , so I think we all should live every moment to our life to the fullest instead of fearing death .
    I’d look forward to read more

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you very much for the compliment. Thinking too much definitely can get us to a place where we find fear in a lot of things! We just have to make sure not to let that fear paralyze us too much. But I think it’s healthy to explore and admit to it every now and then.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. I must point out that I am not afraid of dying as I saw how peaceful it was when my mother passed two years ago. I mean the actual death as I did see her suffer before and I don’t want to experience that but the moment she took her last breath although heartbreaking to realize that she was no longer breathing there was peace in her facial expression. I am just afraid of dying too soon, I want to be able to watch my boys become the men they are meant to be, successful, happy and great human beings.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I’m so sorry about your mother. Losing a parent is one of the hardest things. I’m so happy you felt her peace, though, and gleaned some comfort regarding death and life from it. I’m sure you’ll have a long, beautiful life watching your children become their own people.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes I’m scared. I think about it once in a while… Will my head be smashed in the middle of the road or will my eyes never open one morning? But then before that day comes I live everyday thankfully believing I’ll be remembered by someone somewhere somehow long after I’m gone.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Hi, Lovely piece. I have just set up my blog, but still in the very early stages! Not quite got to your level. Just making efforts to link in with fellow bloggers to improve our followers and get the word out there for us both. I would appreciate you having a peek at my blog, as I have just published my first post. Feel free to like, comment, follow or just take a peek. Thank you 🙂 Keep up the good work

    Liked by 4 people

  11. First, I want to commend you on excellent writing. I also want to bring some small measure of comfort with the knowledge that your great of death is pretty universal. I do find it amazing though that you call the religious ignorant, as if holding to faith requires naivete’. Did it perhaps not occur to you t that those with faith may have an understanding that you may lack. Since no one has crossed over and returned to talk about it, save one who must the world refuses to believe in, it’s impossible to dismiss categorically the possibility of an after life. You say that it seems too good, therefore I must be false. This scares me for your sake, and so I pray I speak to you with a gentle spirit for great you slip over the edge as Hemingway. So I leave you with only this “For Good so lined the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him shall not perish, but have ever lasting love.” John 3:16

    Liked by 2 people

  12. And as George Herbert says …
    “Death, thou wast once an uncouth hideous thing,
    Nothing but bones,
    The sad effect of sadder groans:
    Thy mouth was open, but thou couldst not sing.
    For we considered thee as at some six
    Or ten years hence,
    After the loss of life and sense,
    Flesh being turned to dust, and bones to sticks.”

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Well written, and very relatable. “What if” scenarios of the anxious mind. However, being one who believes in life after death, I find it more comforting in some ways. The manner of death scares me, but not death itself. Hope I go in my sleep,lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Death, and life are in our hands. Eventually we will meet with death. My point of view changes here. For me to live is Christ. To die is gain. I enter Heaven’s Gates humbly, with a sigh of relief. There will be those I know, and those who I don’t know. Ephesians 2:8-9 in the Bible say much about life.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I am not scared, of course I am one of those religious people who have chosen to believe in life beyond death. Life is certainly a bleep when you describe it that way and maybe like the animals it’s better if we don’t know. However what kind of life would you live, if you never thought about the consequences to your actions because we just seize to exist. This world would be a different place…

    Liked by 2 people

  16. very deep! It’s true..most of us parade our societal/religious fed illusions by living haphazardly. we think that we will continue to get second chances, that in some way reality will re-evaluate itself. It’s hard to accept the truth – whatever we deem it to be. Yet, we must live on…until we don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

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