The self-image

Is it ultimately a question of self-image, the determining idea one had made for oneself a long time ago of what one had to have accomplished and experienced so that it would be a life one could approve? Fear of death as fear of the unfulfilled then lay - it seems - completely in my hand, for it is I who draw the image of my own life as it was to be fulfilled. What is more obvious than the thought: Then I'll change the image so my life might now fit in - and the fear of death ought to disappear immediately. If it sticks to me nonetheless, then it's because of this: the image, even though made by me and nobody else, rises not from temperamental capriciousness and isn't available for random change, but is anchored in me and grows out of the play of forces of my feeling and thought that I am. So, the fear of death might be described as the fear of not being able to become whom one had planned to be.

Night Train to Lisbon - Pascal Mercier

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