When reading a Grave of the Fireflies review, this hit me particularly hard.
Until my daughter was born, my own death was the scariest thing in the world.
It's a surreal and almost unacceptable concept, the idea of ones own mortality, and until that life changing day back in October of 2007 it was the most haunting and unsettling thought I could have. When I heard her first cry, when I saw her tiny face and hands and feet, when I held her for the first time, nothing was more beautiful and yet terrifying at the same time. She was a person that would live her life in the same world I had occupied for 23 years at that point, a world full of hate and anger and judgement and bigotry and violence. A world where a day doesn't go by without someone committing unthinkable actions to an innocent life simply trying to go about their day, a final breathe taken but unappreciated because in a just world there would be millions more to follow.
I had only known her for minutes, and yet I was more in love than I had ever been before. Any selfish concerns I had quickly melted away, but what replaced them was even more troubling than before. I was literally holding her precious life in my hands and from that moment forward I have been petrified to let my guard down, to let go and leave her vulnerable to an unforgiving world.
My own feelings aren't quite as poetic or selfless if I'm being 100% honest, but as far as mortality goes, I'd say it's pretty damn close. The concerns of my own mortality extend a little further to "but the boy needs a father", so I'd say there's simply a new motivation for self-preservation. It's a whole new level of scary, and for completely different reasons.