The things that used to scare me as a child no longer keep me up at night the way they used to. Not that I would go out of my way to watch a horror flick right before I go to sleep. I like to think I’m smart enough to refrain from checking out the latest Stephen King movies available on Netflix at 10 o’clock nowadays. Seeing that bloodbath scene in The Shining will not help me fall asleep any faster or make me want to go on an elevator anytime soon. The thing is, if I do watch something that makes my blood curdle late at night, I can drink a cup of Sleepytime tea and take a warm lavender-scented bath and be ready for bed in 20 minutes flat.
The same cannot be said for the things that truly stoke my heart with terror. Forget about all of the scary alien abduction scenes from The X-Files that terrified me as a child, or the Saw movies that freaked me out as a teenager (I refuse to watch anything remotely like Saw to this day). If I really want to scare myself at night, I simply have to allow my mind to wander on the one thing that scares me the most in this world: the death of the people I love is truly the scariest thought that can occupy my thoughts. Forgive the pun, but that will stop me dead in my tracks, and no amount of Celestial Seasoning tea will have the power to lure me to sleep.
You see, as an adult, I value my relationships with my loved ones above all else, and for the record, that counts in my dog as well. In life, jobs will come and go. Money will be up and down. A natural disaster can take down any home and all of the items therein. I am, and always will be a believer in people over possessions. You can always find a way to fatten up your bank account, but you can never get more time with the people that you love.
What you get is what you get, and when your time with them is over, that’s it. There’s no way to get another day with them, not even another second will be granted to you. I challenge you to sit back and think of something that would send a chill through your heart faster than the thought of waking up in a world where all of the people you hold so dear are dead. I know I can’t.
For me, this would be a world without my dad, my sister, my boyfriend, my best gal pals, and of course, my dog. I shudder just thinking of it. That world seems so bleak and uninviting.
To no longer be able to eat a meal cooked by my dad or watch the Home Shopping Network together and make fun of the prices seems so dismal.
To no longer be able to get hilarious Reddit texts from my sister or talk to her about my life seems unthinkable.
To no longer be able to kiss the mouth of the man I love before I go to sleep or hear him tell me that he loves me seems heart-wrenching.
To no longer be able to talk to best friends on the phone about everything and anything on both the happiest days of my life and the roughest days of my life seems unimaginable.
To no longer be able to cuddle with my dog or dance with her to whatever I’m listening to on Pandora seems very sad indeed.
I guess the reason that the idea of my friends and family passing away is more gut-wrenching to me than any of the ten Hellraiser films, is that people leaving your life is always a possibility. Scary movies, on the other hand, are just that. A movie. Nothing more, nothing less, but certainly not anything based in reality, and not anything I have to worry about happening to me in my lifetime.
So, give me any horror movie you want. It will never scare me more than the thought of saying goodbye to everyone I love. The Reaper is truly the villain I fear.
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