Monday, February 4, 2013

On Death and Dying

When you're fifteen years old and walking out of a basketball game, the last thing you expect your sister to say is that her best friend is dead. Or a few months later, when you're sixteen and sitting at a computer waiting for your own best friend to get online, you don't cringe when the phone rings, Not until your sister tells you your friend won't be on the computer because she's been in an accident.

I'm going to be cliche but it feels like your heart has been ripped out of your chest, like someone has put a bulls-eye on your innards and they're playing darts with it. I remember being angry because my friends were so young, they were just kids. When I'd read obituaries about older folks (you know 20-40 years old) passing away I wouldn't get as least they'd lived some life. Meanwhile, my friends were dying at 16-17-18 years old. They didn't even graduate high school.

I thought as I got older the deaths wouldn't hurt as much. They wouldn't have as much impact as Kellie or Kara or Darren or Fred's death. I wouldn't cry, I'd brush it off saying, "I've been through it before" and press on.

And then I get a text from my sister asking, "Are you awake?"

And the game changes again.

Within about ten minutes, I found out that not one, but two friends were dead. One has been so for months now. The other died from a hanggliding accident. Suddenly, my heart is back on that dart board. Even though it's scarred and harder to penetrate, it's still heavy, it still hurts.

The truth that people don't tell you when you're young is that 27 seems old until you're 24 and your siblings are around that age. You've partied with these people. You've flown with them. They are still kids, even if they graduated high school.

I understand that death is part of life. It's natural, it can be beautiful. But what I don't understand is why so many don't make it that far. Zach was a beautiful soul. There isn't a single bad thing you could say about him. He was full of life, ready for anything. To have him not in the world means that the world has just become a darker and scarier place. His happiness was infectious.

If you don't believe me, watch this video.

I feel bad being as upset as I am. I wasn't close to him by any means, but I did enjoy the times I bumped into him.

The moral of this post, I guess, is to just remember to keep your head up. We have a limited time on this earth. Be remembered for how awesome you are rather than how crotchety and mean. Spread goodness into the world.

With that said, Happy Monday.

1 comment:

  1. I've had that call. But, then, I did a whole series about death, and I talk about that call in one of the parts.


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