I’ve chosen Anne Sexton for today’s poem because of my brother. Not because this poem relates to anything he’s felt – at least, not of which I am aware. I chose Anne Sexton because she’s his favorite poet. I chose “Wanting to Die” because I too “have nothing against life,” but that hasn’t stopped me from wondering.
What kept me from stepping off that ledge has been the fear of what happens next. Not the fear of heaven or hell, my “immortal soul,” or what rewards or punishments await me when my heart stops, brains stops firing off signals, and lungs rest after their last breath. It’s the idea that while I’ll experience my death, I will not remember it. I will hold no memory of it. Will not tell its story or discuss it with friends. It’ll be a dreamless sleep, erasing me from this world. I’ll exist only in the memories of those who loved me until their end comes.
So for today’s poem, I have chosen “Wanting to Die” by Anne Sexton for a couple of reasons.