I don’t think of myself as a fearful person. An anxious person, for sure, but not someone who is generally in fear. The exception to that, of course, is of the concept of death. I’m pretty open about my debilitating fear of the inevitable, about how it’s kept me up at night, and how most times I have to straight up pray the thought away exorcism style. Of course we all know that we’re going to die. We’ve all at least experienced enough death, directly or not, to know that this is true.
The truth is, over time, everything ends. Humans are just the only beings self-absorbed enough to be obsessive about what happens after, insisting that it has to be something. You mean to tell me one day, I’m living, breathing, and doing the Formation choreography, and the next, I’m just….gone? It doesn’t feel feasible at all when you think about how complex the human is. We grow at such a slow rate in comparison to other animals. We learn, we retain memories and thoughts, and shape our personalities, and change, and stay in tune with societal structures, and build relationships, and end relationships, and become better at being human over time just to…die?
For me, it’s not just the ending that keeps me up. My fear comes from that narcissistic human thought process of “this can’t just be it”. What if we die, and we’re just conscious somehow? Completely aware within an eternity of nothing. Of darkness. Silence. I have to say, writing this out and seeing that laid out in words makes me feel better already. One thing that 175 days of meditation has taught me is that silence can be a beautiful thing. Aside from that though, I’m leaning more towards the fact that this is just a ridiculous thought. I find a few theories to make sense. Heaven, or at least an after-life, reincarnation, both of these feel possible to me. Chances are too, though, that we might just die. Like, that’s it. Not just lights out, but you’re out. Nothing. No thought, no memory, no you. In which case, it’d be stupid to fear it. Because it’s coming and it won’t even matter once it’s done. That sounds morbid, I know, but there’s some comfort in this space. For me, at least. Sorry if you’re bummed now though.
Okay, I know that was a lot. Needless to say, I’m terrified, but I’ve found a peaceful element to Death. Death is a scary word, but it’s an even scarier tarot card to pull if you haven’t done your research. Do you remember, Carmen? The Hip-Hopera starring Beyoncé and Mekhi Phifer? If not, spoiler alert! Carmen sees a tarot reader and he straight up pulls the Death card over and over again (because that’s possible) as Carmen sings, “no no no no, I don’t wanna go”. Drama. At the end of the movie, she totally dies. If I hadn’t picked up my own interest in tarot, and a book, I would have gone my whole life thinking that that’s how that shit works. It’s not.
Not to say that the Death card isn’t associated with pain, but it very rarely, if ever, depicts an actual death of a person. Or even a pet. At least not in mine or my resources’ experiences. It paints a beautiful picture of death, actually. It’s usually depicting a transformational period, but in order for the transformation, something has to end. It could be a relationship, a job, or even just a version of self that needed to go. Here’s an anecdote about my latest tarot reading. By latest, I mean about 20 minutes ago.
Before I tell you the cards I pulled (one is obvious), let me give you a glimpse into my thoughts in the past 24-ish hours. The first thing is I have this ex that I never really seemed to get over, and just yesterday I was telling some friends about how I read some old tweets of mine from when the guy and I were together, and what I concluded from that was pretty painful - but in a good way. It wasn’t my usual longing for my lost Love, it was a realization that I’m not that girl anymore, and I feel bad for that girl. Who I am now would absolutely not be able to keep that relationship afloat. I’m simply too much Woman now. The second thing is I figured out that I think I like someone new. The third is just the thought of death, which literally creeps in my mind whenever it feels like it.
Okay, so keep all of that in mind while we go over my drawing. So, typically, I just pull one card and journal about how I am aware of that energy playing out in my current life or not. Today, I pulled my card, it was the Three of Swords. The picture on the card is a heart with three swords going through it. It usually depicts an energy of betrayal, backstabbing, or being put in immense pain by someone you Love and trust. I decided to do something that I don’t ever really do as I don’t consider myself a very well-versed tarot reader. I pulled a second card to gain clarity on the first. That second card was Death.
It, of course, was ironic at the moment to have pulled Death considering that I’d been thinking about death the night before. A fearful mind would’ve taken that and run with it, which is why I believe it was paramount that I pulled the cards in the order that I did. Had I pulled Death first, I wouldn’t have craved clarity, I just would have thought, “great, you put that energy on you by sinking into thoughts about death”. However, the first card I pulled was the Three of Swords, bringing front to mind, my heartache, even as it isn’t fully present these days. It created curiosity. I pulled again and pulled Death. My conclusion (as an optimist, of course) is that the space of heartache and longing is dying out. That version of me is transforming, and perhaps, finally opening me up to the possibility of a meaningful connection.
Not to put so much pressure on the new person that I like, but the fact that I like someone at all sort of reinforces these energies. I’m growing out of pain and into the opportunity of Love. Romantic Love, that is, not the Love all around me already. This is a Death of the era of the broken hearted girl, a Death that I do not fear; it’s a Death that I welcome with open heart.