If You Want to Live – Contemplate Death

the Tunnel - thomashawk.com

Sounds morbid, but true. In my humble opinion. Being detached from my clothes this last week has me thinking about attachments in general. (clothes are all under a tarp, while Grandson is painting.) Contemplating death is a variation of live each day like it’s your last. What bothers me is that no immediate answer comes to mind when I ask myself this question: What would I do if this was my last day on earth?

Should I do something on this last day? Or think something? Even thinking is doing something. Make peace with God? Just be? Who knows? I know I don’t know. And that’s all I know most of the time. Mr. Husband will probably raise his eyebrows on this one. Huh? She knows all, sees all, and has done all at least twice, according to her.

In comparing my life to lives of those I meet along the way, I have done a lot more than the average Jane. I’ve traveled a lot more than the average Jane also. It’s not with a sense of urgency that I do these things. But my outlook is that this is not a dress rehearsal, this is my life. The only life that I know with 100% certainty I have.

I’m one of those lucky people who had a profound experience at an early age.  A “near death experience.” That’s the term for it these days. Wasn’t aware it had a label back then. At 17 I smashed out a windshield with my head in a car crash. I remember sitting there thinking “oh hmm, what is this?” My body slid from a sitting position to laying across the seat. I heard voices and people scrambling around, calling my name. “What is wrong with you people, it’s only a car” was my thought. An ambulance came. They put my body on a stretcher and tore down the highway. I’m thinking “la la la”. I was covered in blood. Yuck what a mess, but it wasn’t my problem.

When we got to the first hospital I stood on the sidelines, an observer. A doctor looked at my body and whispered to the ambulance driver “there’s nothing we can do for her here, she looks dead. This is just a clinic, we don’t have a morgue. Take her to” <name of another hospital>. I looked on with calm curiosity. Oh my, my skin was grey and my lips were blue. Not a good look.

A few minutes later at a another place, they rolled me into an emergency room. My sister was holding my baby on her hip crying, baby’s daddy was crying too. I was in such a peaceful place. I knew everything had always been fine, was fine now and would always be fine. I felt compassion for sister, baby, and daddy, but no strong unpleasant emotions of fear, or grief. My sentiment was that no matter what happened next it would be OK. But, I also had a strong feeling of a choice. I looked at my baby daughter and made the choice.

The next thing I know I’m on the gurney, confused, scared, wailing, thrashing around, in pain. They were wiping my face and it was ticking me off just like I was 2-year-old. I guess at this point they decided I wasn’t dead after all. Ha! Just try to slow me down, I dare ya!

No one ever said the slightest bit of anything about the dead part. Maybe they assumed I hadn’t heard. Diagnosis was a strong blow to the head, concussion, 2 sprained wrists, and neck injuries. The doctor cheerfully announced that I would have problems with whiplash in the future. He was right. I wore a neck collar for a while and found out what it’s like to not have the use of ones arms. I couldn’t brush my own teeth, hair, or potty without assistance. Bleh!

I recovered and went on with life. But that feeling of stepping back out of the fray never left me. Usually it’s in the background. But still every once in a while I get that blessed distinct feeling of the difference between the me that is interacting with others at a physical level and the “real” me who is observing and chuckling at all the silliness.

I have something that no one can take away. Maybe it’s that pearl of great price. Oooo… I love pearls.

4 responses

  1. Wow! Your experience is amazing! I love such stories but few people tell them. It’s comforting to know there still would be “something” when you’re dead.

  2. it certainly gives a different perspective ….

  3. A baby at 17. Wow! I had my first child three weeks before i turned 17. Horrible age to have babies. My near death experience didn’t happen until I was in my 40s, however. That’s a positive I think for anybody at any age. Thanks for sharing. .

    1. My baby was born before I turned 17 also. Maybe God knew that I was going to need a lot of extra help with her and gave me that experience early 🙂 What happened to you were you in a crash?

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