UNITED STATES—Death is something that has always scared me. Some of us fear death because it’s unexpected; I fear death for reasons that are difficult to explain because I fear how I will be perceived.  This past month has been a difficult one to say the least.

I’ve had to attend two funerals for family members who have passed. This past week being the latest and an emotional rollercoaster! People die all the time, but the scariest aspect about death is that it forces us not only to re-examine our lives, but those who surround us.

Emotions can reach a fever pitch, those who sob uncontrollably, those who are swollen with guilt, those who use anger as an outlet, or worse of all, those who fall into a dark pit. As the pastor who oversaw the passing of my family member quoted, “Death is inevitable. It is promised to all of us.” It’s so true; we will come face-to-face with death at some point in our life. It could be today, tomorrow, next week, a month, a year, 20 years, 50 years, no one truly knows when death will arrive, but it will.

My brain was overwhelmed with thoughts of how people would perceive me in my passing. Would they be unbelievably sad, angry with me, will I have an audience? I don’t know, what frustrates me even more is why I’m continuing to ask myself these questions? I am trying to understand death, which is something that is causing my brain to overwork more than it should be. Perhaps I’m dealing with a midlife crisis, and putting into perspective the things that matter most in life.

It doesn’t help that death is always in the news. I can’t remember the last time I turned on the nightly news and didn’t hear about someone being murdered or a body being found. It’s not to say that media outlets aim to air disturbing news to the viewers, but it happens so often it’s a norm.

Get used to it, death happens, but as long as it doesn’t happen to us it doesn’t matter. That is the scary factoid. When it comes to death, life never stops, it just keeps on moving as if it never happened. You cannot pause life when you’re having a bad time, cause time never stops. It speeds up depending on what you’re doing or moves at inoperable speeds if you allow it to.

I think death forces us to get into gear to doing things that we have never done before it’s too late. We start to discover that sitting back and not tackling our fears will leave us with more regrets. I think that’s why death has been on my mind the most. I’m starting to think of my bucket list being front and center; things that I have yet to accomplish or do, that I should be doing.

I’ve always been told that sleep is necessity, but I hear people say you can sleep when you’re dead. Why allow life to fly past you worrying about what will happen, when you have no control over it to begin with. Worry about the things that you can control and not those that you can’t. Death can’t be controlled, it never has been.