I toss and turn, feeling heated on a cool summer night. Crickets are chirping. Cars zoom by. This is usually how the night sounds, but for some reason, I can’t fall asleep.
My eyes blink open.
What??? It’s 3am already?
I close my eyes again and sigh, wishing for sleep to take me away to a place where I no longer have to think or worry or feel. A place of pure quietness and peace. But despite my best efforts to count sheep, drink warm milk and do whatever it is people say, nothing has worked.
So I do the only thing I can do:
But as I do so, part of me begins to fall apart. Why me? I thought. Am I the only one suffering through this?
Tears slowly trickle down my cheeks as my head becomes heavy. I can no longer hold it in.
What would happen if mom wasn’t there? If one day, she got into an accident or fell sick or reached the end of her life? Would dad be sad? Would he be lonely? Who would take care of the house? Who would be there for me? How would my sisters react?
As an eight-year old kid, it’s terrifying how I’ve already understood death and what it would be like to lose someone close to me, especially when no one has sat down to talk to me about this matter nor have I known anyone who’s gone through it. But somehow, and quite weirdly, my human brain has become acutely aware of its existence.
I want to tell my mom, my parents, exactly how I felt that night, to let them know how concerned I am of the possibility of their non-existence, but what would I say? How would I bring it up? What would they think of me, thinking about their death?
For twenty four years, I have been avoiding this subject because it’s downright intimidating. No one wants to die. No one wants to suffer. Why even bother talking about it when everybody is still walking and talking fine?
But here’s what I realize: Whatever you end up doing or not doing, there are consequences. And in this case, I had to consider which scenario I’d rather not be in: being left without any knowledge of what my parents wished for or lost, or being scared for a day as we figure out a pre-death plan?
It’s not an easy choice, but I made my decision — out of love for my parents, out of the realization that any one of us could die from this virus — to be prepared. It makes me feel 10x better knowing that if the worst case scenario happens, I got their backs and that they can be rest assured that everything will be okay.
After all, isn’t that what they’ve done for me?