At what age did you realize you were not immortal? How did you react to that discovery?

It’s odd that I was thinking about this the other day, sitting on the bus after seeing Annabelle at the cinema. I was trying to remember the first time that I was ever scared of dying, or of being hurt by one of my nightmares. I’ve spoken about how I wasn’t raised in a religious family, definitely not one that told me about death or heaven, so I must have learnt about it at school. Probably from one of the older kids trying to scare me.

With all the films and stories that children grow up with now, though, I imagine that they learn about mortality a lot earlier than I ever did. Is that a good thing, a bad thing, or does it even matter? It clearly hasn’t affected me that much, not to the extent where I can recall the moment of realisation, anyway.

I like to think that a part of me will live on in my writing, words that can’t be erased quite so easily as I. There’s a saying, isn’t there, about how everyone experiences two deaths; one when you die, and the other when someone says your name for the last time. Sometimes I’m egotistical enough to believe that I will do something so remarkable with my life that my future generations will always remember my name. Then I realise that I don’t know the names of my great-grandparents, and chide myself.

It’s probably best to just make the most of it.


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