That damn hourglass!
“I’ll never be 5 again”, I said crying. Mom thought it was cute. I did not.
Maybe I saw “5” at the bottom of the hourglass getting slowly covered by the sands of time.
Back when I was a kid in summer camp, I spent the night in the infirmary sick with a fever and I had these strange mortality nightmares. I don’t recall the specifics, just a feeling in my gut of an impending something… a shadow lurking just out of sight… waiting. My young mind at the time couldn’t interpret the feeling, but stored it away.
Fast forward to my recent battle with the flu (or COVID). Only this time combine the fever nightmares with menopausal anxiety and I manage to develop a new menopausal symptom (for me) – Oudenophobia – the fear of not existing.
I’m not talking about aging or the process of dying. I’m referring to the nothingness after that. The switch turning off. The little red light going out. POOF! No more me. Nothing. Nada. The End…. even as I type this it’s weirding me out.
I can’t even fathom the thought of not existing anymore. I mentioned it to a friend, who stated so surely, “why does it matter, you won’t even know.” That didn’t make me feel any better, but I was impressed as to how she could just shrug it off. The thought of ceasing to exist didn’t seem to bother her at all. She does have a lot on her plate right now, a very busy life. Maybe I just need some more worries to occupy my mind. Yeah, like I need that. Maybe that’s where some menopausal anxiety comes from. Thinking about getting closer to death can be terrifying, so we come up with all of these other worries to fill our heads so we don’t think about the big one. Nah! I’m not buying it. That fear comes from the pit of my stomach, not my head.