What I Fear Most

Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.
— Shannon L. Alder

Growing up one of the things I feared most was death. Most of us have dealt with the same feeling. The thought of loved ones passing or the thought dying and leaving loved ones behind to mourn. No-matter how you cut the cake, someone is left dealing with the hurt.

So for a long time I avoided thinking about death. Can you blame me ? Think about this, as soon as we are born we are dying. That’s insane…

I needed help getting over my fear of death.

“We all have to die at some point”

“Death is a part of life”

“That’s just the way things go”

“Blame your father Adam”

Those are some of the things that I often heard when death was brought up in conversation. And to be honest, none of them really helped.

The aspect that hurt the most was the realization that when I die, the people that I am connected to will be hurting. Their hearts will shatter. They will be sad, they will be angry, they will cry and cry until their tear reserves run empty.

They will ask “why?” and they may never get an answer that subdues their heartache. To think, I will be the cause of that much pain.

Tears For Momma

I remember once sitting in the small, tin covered, lwil sent (olive oil) smelling living room in our home in Haiti thinking, “what if I died before my mom? how would she deal with my death? she’d probably die from sadness”, and I immediately bursted out crying. My mom and I were the only ones in the house that day, I assume she was on the porch cleaning chicken to make dinner or something. She had no idea what was taking place just a few feet away from her, because I sat there and cried in silence.

I cried bitter, damp tears. They tasted like a perfect mixture of salt and confusion. Then it got unbearable for me, so I did the one thing I knew how to do, I prayed. I remember saying, “God I don’t want to die before my mom. Grant her life so that she may live to be 120 years old, so that I can be of old age and we can die together.”

I was about 7 or 8 years old when that happened.

Fast forward to now, I don’t fear death. At least not for the same reasons that I did back then, it’s a different type of “fear” -I am not even sure if “fear” is the right word for this feeling. But this “fear” still keeps me up at night, to be real sometimes it still makes me cry.

It’s not the fear of death, because I realized there’s something that goes beyond death. And that’s legacy. So I will find myself up at 2 o’clock in the morning wondering what if I don’t fulfill my purpose ? What if I am forgotten after I pass away ? How will I be remembered ? What will my legacy be ?

This another one of those posts where, I don’t have the answers to the questions I ask-I usually never do. But as soon as I find them out, I will let you know. However, I will leave you with the same question that I ask myself every time I think about death:

What legacy will you leave behind ?

Obed Jean Pierre1 Comment