I have once been a Platinum frequent flyer of KLM Dutch airline, which may sound great to some, but to me, it’s a sad reminder of a period when airport lounges were more familiar to me than home.
Having said that, I add that I was never afraid of flying. And I’m sure I have mentioned this in another post. But over the years, I became fearful, not because aeroplane crashes increased, but my fear of them.
Maybe it’s fear of dying that kicks in. Or perhaps I overthink and add too many details to it. When I was younger, I asked many more questions than now, but the latter, although less, are more relevant.
Is death what I fear? What comes to mind first, don’t laugh, is not to die per se, but leaving suddenly without having organised my administration enough, with clear instructions on where my family can find my papers and passwords, etc. I want to ease my family’s handling of the bureaucracy associated with my being dead, for having dual citizenship and being accountable to two tax systems. I guess we all know what the taxman does to our sanity, right? Let me not digress, please.
I’m not a freak, I promise you, but I have three times experienced the discomforting events that belong on the road to death.
Once, I accompanied a friend to the airport to dispatch the body of her child as cargo. The saddest farewell I have ever bid, and don’t wish to anyone.
Then, on another occasion, having no experience with it, I had to organise the funeral of my boss, in the middle of the night, as the family was abroad and too distraught. I cried so much during the funeral, but half of my tears were of exhaustion and relief that all went right.
Finally, on a milder note, I helped another friend to deal with the two-tax system’s laws, due to the inheritance left by her aunt in another country, the one I was coincidently living in that time. It was massively complicated, as she had not organised her papers, and we wished we had hired ‘Emile Poirot’ to decipher her aunt’s administration.
Those situations reminded me of the understatement that we are never ready to die but made me also incredibly aware of another inevitable reality. We have to not only comply with a lot of norms and rules, while alive but even when dead. And perhaps I may sound sort of ‘doomsday’, but we’re better off when we can preempt some of the hassles and leave a navigation system to be used by our relatives, on our wishes and issues.
I have donated my organs, have an official will, and want to be cremated. Shouldn’t I make this known? That’s what I’m talking about.
I have it all settled though, including giving power of attorney to three of my siblings, if my husband no longer lives.
Why then, having organised to ‘die’ in peace, was I in those last three days before my most recent trip, having a recurring feeling that my upcoming flight could go wrong, and feared for that?
I have abhorred those evil thoughts, afraid that thinking of it, would give them room to become a reality. Superstition or simply fear? I went for fear. But fear of what? I’m not afraid of dying, per se. I have no idea where I’m going, but whatever that is, I want to meet my brother, uncles and aunts, and some beloved friends. Not bad. I like living though, very much, and have no intention to go there yet. They can wait.
Still, I spent two days with those heavy thoughts populating my mind. At the airport, I decided to share my fearful feelings with my husband. His nonchalant reaction broke the spell when he suggested that from that day on, we would travel separately so that I could live in peace, as he would take care of the administration on my behalf. He’s very pragmatic, but I’m afraid that he may have started to think that I’m not ok. We both laughed, though.
As we were travelling together, I started sending all my passwords (phones, computers, bank accounts), to my brother, hoping to not wake him up at such early hours. He replied, one hour later, making fun of my behaviour and warning me that (according to him), I’m going to live till 100, as I don’t drink as much as he does.
If you want to know, after I sent everything to him, the fear was gone. I could travel, in peace.
Wait a minute, what if he dies before me?
I was just kidding you! But if you were curious to know, yes, I have a backup plan.
Did you ever worry about that, or should I worry about myself?