Word Nerd Wednesday

Word Nerd Wednesday: Ya’aburnee

I’m taking it to all new emo levels this week with ya’aburnee. Love is a wonderful thing that can make you feel all mushy, gooey, and tingly inside. It can make you feel terrible, too. Love can lead to all manner of morbid and utterly depressing thoughts, especially if you’ve consumed a bottle of wine and are currently listening to The Smiths.


When you’re in love with someone, you spend tons of time thinking about him or her. You want to be with them all the time, you’re giddy when you see them, you’re sad as soon as you have to say goodbye. You never want to be without them and the thought of them leaving you is unbearable. If you’re a weirdo like me, you might be constantly paranoid your significant other is going to die at any moment. Let’s say their car breaks down so they’re late meeting up with you, and you rationally assume they’ve been killed in a fiery car accident. You cry for an hour into a giant stuff animal until your love calls you to say his/her car broke down and phone died simultaneously. Yes, this is a real event that occurred in my life. Yes, I probably have issues I should talk through with a therapist. Is there a word to express this fear of losing someone and the complicated thoughts that go with it? OF COURSE!

Ya’aburnee is an Arabic word for the desire to die before your loved one because you couldn’t bear to live without him or her. Obviously, ya’aburnee is something I’ve experienced. The thought of living without the people you love is awful. I consistently have nightmares a parent, sibling, friend, or significant other has died and I wake up sobbing into my pillow.

When I was younger, I had the opposite issue. I don’t know why, when, or how, but around the age of six, I used to lay awake at night contemplating death and freaking myself out. I never wanted to die. I wanted to be the last person to die. I was concerned I would die before my brothers because I am the oldest sibling. I was so concerned I once asked my mom if I was doomed to be the first dead sibling. I was a completely selfish child, apparently, and didn’t want to be all dead and missing out on life when everyone else got to whoop it up without me. What great inventions and societal progress would I miss?

Now, the concept of immortality isn’t as appealing as it used to be. The thought of being the Last One Standing is totally undesirable. Of course, death is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn’t make it suck any less. I don’t want to be the All My Friends Are Dead dinosaur. I’ve moved on from the selfish childhood desire for immortality and moved more towards ya’aburnee. That’s not to say I have a death wish, but I certainly don’t want to be in an “always the pallbearer, never the corpse” situation.

Well, this post was sufficiently dark. I’ll try for a peppier word next week.



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