Some years ago, one of my best friends and I were discussing, of all things, whether we could remain friends with a (hypothetical) friend who had committed a murder or rape of someone we didn’t know. We were of two minds there: I said no, she said yes, which surprised me. But what surprised me more was her statement that, if she were ever violently raped, she’d prefer to be killed afterwards; she felt that living with such a memory would be worse than death.
I didn’t argue with her on that issue, of course; she wasn’t recommending that rape survivors be executed, but rather stating what her own greatest fear was. That said, her attitude struck me as an unhealthy one: it is certainly possible to survive such an assault, and to heal and proper afterwards. My private musings promptly struck me as hypocritical–because there are certainly things I would rather die than endure that others might say, Nah, I can take it–bring it on! Life is sweet!
For me it’s blindness. In the year or so since I was diagnosed with diabetes, that’s been a real issue for me: by which I mean that I am extremely concerned about it, not that my doctors think I am in any imminent danger. But the notion of losing my sight–the attendant loss of autonomy it would entail–simply terrifies me. I know that others may disagree, and they’re probably right to do so–but to me, blindness is a fate worse than death.
What about the rest of you?