“I am not my paranoia”

I was raised with only one ingredient, “Love”. As a result, I can never stop loving. It started as early as 11 years old, the fear of death and the unknown, for others. I am afraid of death and think about it every day. It’s the ones I love the most that I never want to see go away forever, Mom and Dad especially.

They have given me everything that I need despite that I have nothing to give in return. I have learned so much from life and its beauty, its artistry, its vibrancy, its nature and unity. I learned that people need to live each day to its fullest, because you can be here today and gone tomorrow. The truth is that you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. In the last 10 years at least 8 members of my family have passed. In fact, I’ve lost count. The family has become immune to death and mourning, only asking “whose next?” All that has ever crossed my mind is “take me before them”. People who are so beautiful on the inside deserve to live; I can’t picture my life without them. All we have is each other’s shoulders to lean and cry on but when that shoulder is gone I fall to my knees and another part of me dies inside.

My emotions are held inside of me like a Marine, never revealing. It eats away at me day by day. I can’t stop thinking about burying my parents because I am preparing myself for it every day. It’s the last thing that I ever want to happen. We have lost so many family members, brothers, fathers, mothers, cousins, and grandparents. Yet all I can think of is how do they get through it? I’m not ready for this, and never will be. There is too much to life that I have yet to accomplish, too many places to see, so many things to do, and death always feels like it’s around the corner.

My fear of death has eased slowly as I learn to cope by being a father of two beautiful girls. I am their protector and will pass on to them everything that was given and engrained in me. God is my hope. Everything I do acknowledges his existence in the sense that death is easy and peaceful, for life is just the opposite. I want my children to be leaders in life and not followers, I will teach them that no matter how hard life can be, or how ugly this world may seem, there is beauty in everything. They must be the change the world needs.

Where there is love, there is no question. I am not my paranoia.