I remember growing up, my grandma and great grandma would sing this traditional Appalachian song called “Conversation With Death.” (I’ve linked a version in case you’re unfamiliar with it.) it was ironic, as they were Jewish (but Appalachian) and Jews have no heaven or hell, only Sheol and the World to Come (similar concepts, but ideologically different.) Anyway, the song creeped me out. I, too, have always been fearful of death — not the dying part, just the permanence. Yet, it’s the one common denominator that every living being will achieve, that every breathing thing goes through. I enjoyed your piece very much Chad Hoy — please keep writing such eloquent, thoughtful pieces.