Wednesday, August 17, 2005

On facing your own mortality

This really isn't as grim as it sounds. I don't think. I've just been having deep thoughts about health and life and vacations and children and work and Italy lately. So naturally, this lead me to think about death. Have you ever thought about it? I mean, really thought about it? Beyond what you learned in church, or college, or whatever? Really now -- what must it feel like to just not "be" anymore?

I have thought a lot about this, myself. I thought the first time it hit me (no pun intended, I SWEAR) was upon impact in my car accident, and then the second time, a week later with the blood clots. You can probably see why from these photos i am finally posting.

Yeah. So anyway.

Upon deeper reflection, I realize I have thought about death and even felt the possibility of death many times before the accident. I have this thing with water, you see. It's a love/hate relationship. I can't officially swim. I do not like "Murky" water (oceans [yes i know], rivers, lakes] because I read too much damn Stephen King when I was a kid. However, I do enjoy floating around in clear water like bathtubs, swimming pools, and spas. And I have this weird thing where I like to hold my breath and put my head underwater and just veg out, completely relaxed. I think because of my fear of water as a child, I would do this just to challenge myself, to prove that I could. Is it just me, or is it incredibly peaceful under water, where you can hear nothing but the beat of your own heart? You are not weighed down by gravity. You just are. I have imagined what it would be like to drown. Like, would it be peaceful, or would it be awful, like that panicky feeling you get when you can't hold your breath any longer? My mom actually had a near drowning incident when she was a little girl, and she has said that once the panicky part goes away, rather quickly, you feel nothing and it's very peaceful -- until someone pulls you out.

So my accident. I was knocked out upon impact and do not have any memory of the actual crash or the pain or the airbags going off or the sound. Apparently your brain erases stuff like that and it's often hard to remember details around a trauma or accident. But I do remember the moment I woke up and how I felt. The blankness, the utter blankness. You don't remember anything, it's like you've been under anesthesia -- you just open your eyes and there you are. I imagine that's how death must be - you just open your eyes and you're somewhere else. And for some reason, that really comforted me, realizing that even if you were to die in a violent accident of some kind, your brain erases it and your lights literally just "go out" and there it is. It's over. Now, Why did this comfort me? I think because it made it less unknown. And I have always worried about the pain. Like, if your car falls off a cliff, like in the movies, and it explodes into a ball of flames on the mountainside, do you feel that? Is it fast or slow? I'm thinking that it's very fast. I think once you go into hyper-adrenaline panic mode you kind of blank out and then you either are or you aren't -- but you aren't aware of it happening. That's what I think. And that soothes me in some weird way.

So I was watching The 4400 tonight and there's some guy who was in a coma for three years and he was trying to describe it to his girlfriend. He told her to close her eyes. Then he said to open them, and imagine that three years had gone by. This really struck me, because I GET IT. (on the show she giggled coquettishly and said "I can't!" and he said "I can't either, I lost 3 years of my life" and blahblahblah they ended up sleeping together).

Deep thoughts on the eve of the eve of my trip out to the cold, cold sea amidst icebergs and whales and such. Did you happen to notice how linkalicious I am tonight? Did you? It's because I'm actually using my desktop, which is a PC (hiss) and so I have all these CRAZY features, like bold and italics and LINKS.

that is all. I am now going to go float in a hot bath for a while until I am too relaxed to do anything but fall instantly asleep when my head hits the pillow...

...then, in what will seem like mere moments later, a grey cat nose will wake me up by breathing into my ear, being sure to set its juiciness upon my inner ear canal for just a split second...just long enough to get catnip...


Crazy MomCat said...

Those pictures. I still can't believe those pictures.

Thank goodness you are still here!

B r i a n & G a b r i e l a said...

Hello, got to your blog just by clicking "next" and "next". It impressed me so much to see the pics of your car. It's good to know you survived from the accident. Take care and God bless you so much.


Gabriela. :)

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Babs said...

I'm glad you're still here too.

BTW, I think the cruise unknown is affecting us both! As I was talking to my Dad yesterday, I mentioned something about being a little nervous and he's like "Why are you worried? You can swim, right?" YIKES! I'm not THAT strong of a swimmer!