Saturday, November 15, 2008

Twice as Aware

As a child, death was an unreal concept to me. I was absolutely, positively convinced that someone would discover a way for people to live forever. Maybe it was a pill. Or a machine. I just knew that I would live forever.

I can tell you the exact moment I realized I would die.

I was a freshman in high school and was sleeping over at Alison's. We were watching some funny TV show, stretched out on those comfy, expensive-feeling couches in her den and it hit me. Like a ton of bricks. I have no idea what spurred the thought. A cold chill ran through my body and I absolutely froze. I literally felt ice-cold. I remember thinking that one day I would not be on this earth. And I was absolutely terrified.

And then I quickly pushed the thought out of my head.

In the years that followed I didn't really think about death much, in fact, I’m not sure I thought about it again until I turned 21 and was quite surprised that I was still alive. I rarely said no to a dare. I took lots of chances. I didn’t follow instructions. I didn’t listen. I had FUN. All the time. I made bad decisons to see what would happen. (Usually nothing too bad.) I experienced all I could. I drank it all in, I lived life fully. (Some people might tell you TOO fully.) I never did anything illegal (not entirely true, let's just say nothing FELONIOUS) but I didn't always put safety concerns at the top of the list. I had no fear.


Everything changed after the twins were born.

I was suddenly aware of death again.
Twice as aware.

This morning, at daybreak, a fried of mine died. For 16 years she fought a brilliant and brave battle with cancer. She was at home, surrounded by her husband of 43 years and her loving children and their spouses.

Death seems to be very much around me these days. We lost someone we knew in that horrible train wreck in L.A. in September. A neighbor's cancer has returned.

Having children paired with recent death experiences has made me more aware than ever

And I think it’s good that I have this awareness back.

Despite the extreme exhaustion and lack of brain power these days, I try my best to live my life fully and yearn to experience everything. My “life” motivation is different than before. It’s not because I know I will die one day. It’s because I want show our children this incredible world before I die; I want to share all that I have… I want to make a difference, if only in their lives, but hopefully beyond that too.

I am aware.

1 comment :

mgreg said...

During this grievous time, we are thinking of you.
Hopefully, your close by loved ones will comfort and/or distract from the pain of loss of a good friend. We're thinking of you.