"Dear Carol, I'm afraid to die"
This might sound silly but it’s true: I’m afraid to die. I think about it mostly at night. I look to each birthday with dread knowing that the older I get, the sooner I’ll die. I really love my grandma, and I hate to think someday she’ll die. I’ve already talked to my parents. Please give me advice.
—Scared to Death
Dear Scared to Death,
Few of us look forward to the inevitable, but the good news is that you probably have decades and decades and decades ahead. When it comes to death, many people find comfort in religion. Many try to glean wisdom from philosophers and writers and many just go into a happy, healthy denial and do their best to make the most of each day and not give the grim reaper much thought. If morbid thoughts are keeping you awake at night, say to yourself, “Self, now cut it out. I know what you’re up to, and I won’t go there.” Then think about your crush, favorite song, best friend, last vacation, or the sound of the surf, or just picture yourself floating on a cloud.
I wish you and I were both immortal. We’re not, but life is long and while you’re here, you might as well figure out what makes you feel good, how to love and be loved, and how to help others. It’s fine to be a deep person who ponders the big picture, but it’s also OK to turn on some tunes and get into living. My suggestion: Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”
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