There are only three things in this world that I’m truly afraid of: sharks, dolls that come to life in the middle of the night, and dying alone.
The first two I blame on a childhood spent consuming American media. I was four when Jaws came out. For some incomprehensible reason, my parents had a copy of the “literary adaptation” with a cover that matched the movie poster. I would sneak up to their bookshelf and peek at the image, then run to my room to hide from it.
Then there was Poltergeist. This movie ruined clown dolls for me forever (Not that they’d ever held much appeal in the first place. But still.).
My third fear came to life much later. And it crashes over me like a rogue wave every time I visit my grandmother in her nursing home. She’s one of the lucky ones in the facility; my mother lives close and visits her regularly. But my grandmother’s neighbors? I often see them alone in their separate rooms, nodding in and out of consciousness, TVs blaring, with photos of family members taped to their doors. I try to make eye contact with each person I pass, say hello, and smile. Is that all there is?
This thought terrifies me more than all the sharks in the ocean and all the evil dolls in my closet.
How can you confront what you fear?