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I've been thinking about fear a lot these past few days.

Since I had a dream, many years ago, in which I died a violent death, I have not feared death itself. I realise to a lot of people that may sound unrealistic or even arrogant, but it is true.

Some people feel the fear of dying is the ultimate fear, it is inevitable for all of us, and none of us know when we will die, not people on death row, and not even people with terminal illness. All we know for sure is that it will happen one day.

This last week a friend was told it will happen sooner than anyone would want and she was given a choice; fight death head on now and increase the risk of dying before Easter, or accept that you will die maybe before next Christmas or the one after. The talk of living was very much played down to almost nothing, by the sounds of it. And so I've been thinking about fear a lot.

I'm very afraid for my friend. There is no two ways about it. I know I would be less afraid if it was me, but then I would be afraid for my children and for my husband who might have to carry on without me. And it's not that I think they can't live without me, I know they can, but I know it would hurt them deeply. Hurting them scares me.

And then I ask myself, in light of all this, why do insignificant things scare me? Why am I scare of submitting my stories and being rejected? In the scheme of things, that is nothing. It hurts no one in the way losing a loved one would hurt. And why am I afraid of writing poetry. Is poetry painful - and if my poetry was painful - would that be such a terrible thing?

Why am I afraid of walking? Just going out for a walk? Walking is harmless, I don't have to walk a marathon or speed walk, I could just take a stroll outside. Out there were I'm scared to be alone.

A life lived in fear is not a life.

My friend has decided to fight death head on. I wondered what i would do, and I came to the conclusion I would do the same thing. So, if I would fight death head on, then I should fight all my fears head on. Just do it.


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