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  • Writer's pictureRoxy SZN

Survival Instinct

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

January 2021

I am blessed with an aunt who will turn 100 in May of 2021. She was a nurse in the Iranian Army and attended the king when he was shot in an assassination attempt.

She has grieved the loss of her parents, all siblings, her husband, and her youngest son. Every deep line on her beautiful face depicts each of those losses.

She believes her longevity is a curse, as she feels so much pain in her body besides the heartbreak of losing a child. I believe her longevity is a result of how she treats her body, mind and soul.

She treats her body like a temple. She is very watchful of what she places in her mouth and how much. The self-control is beyond belief.

She trains her mind daily, (even now) to do Sudoku puzzles. My aunt comforts her soul by keeping a journal, writing and reading poetry.

The only vice about my darling auntie is her constant wish to drop her body and her deep desire to join her son and husband. At every visit, especially during the pandemic, I hear my aunt say, how tired she is of living. And I truly believe in her sincerity.

What’s interesting though, (and the purpose of this note) is my aunt’s quick and abrupt reaction to any acute symptoms in her body, which is notwithstanding her wish to leave her body.

For instance, she had a spike in her blood pressure few months ago, and instantly called several of us to take her to the doctor. I think even my aunt, who I consider to be a sage and healer is still under the influence of her instinct to survive.

Is it the fear of the unknown, or the fear of death itself? Whichever it is, it is important to remember that we are all minions to our instinct to survive. Perhaps, if the elders in our society, did not display such “will” to live, our species would have been extinct a long time ago! Perhaps it’s a duty we are unconsciously bound to.


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