Earlier this week, a guy my age that I knew died.
He was in a motorcycle accident, wasn’t wearing his helmet, hit his head, and after being in a coma for several days he very sadly passed on.
His funeral is tomorrow. It is the 27th funeral for someone I personally have known that was my age or younger. I’m only 33 and I’ve been feeling the sting of death following me for two decades now.
I have had many friends die in car accidents. I have had friends drown in flash floods. I have had friends overdose on drugs or commit suicide. I have lost friends to cancer and sickness. Two of my friends (brothers) drowned while scuba diving in a canal pipe. One friend fell off a cliff while hiking. I’ve so sadly been to the funerals of children and of babies. I was holding my own little sister’s head in my hands as she took her final breaths.
Mortality. We are all forced to think about it from time to time, aren’t we? The death of someone I know this week certainly has made me think twice about getting back on my brand new Harley, the motorcycle that before this week I was so thrilled about finally having. I’m sure it will pass. After all, I still drive my car, I still hike, and I still swim even though I’ve lost people through those means as well.
But why have I personally known so many young people to tragically lose their lives? Is it because death follows me? God, I hope not.
Death has come for me personally three times in the past two years, all the stories of which I’ve shared on this blog. Hell, it’s been coming for me my entire life. At the age of three, I was electrocuted once and not much later I was almost killed by a car. Yet, somehow then and now, I have always managed to escape it.
But the truth is, I could die tomorrow. I could die today. This could be the last blog post you ever see from me, and that is true every single day with every word I type. There is no guarantee that I will get to be there when my son grows up, graduates, finds love, has kids, and becomes a man. There is no guarantee that I will make it to all the camping trips and fun vacations I have planned with my son and with my girlfriend. I might not ever make it back to Sunday dinner to see my family.
God, I hope I do. But there are no guarantees, are there. In fact, death is the only guarantee.
I could be hit by a stray bullet while standing at a crosswalk. I could die in a car accident. I could stay out in the sun too long and get heat stroke. I could be given the wrong prescription drug. I could be stampeded by a herd of escaped elephants. I could be murdered by a crazy blog reader. I could keel over from an aneurism.
There are no guarantees that I’ll make it to tomorrow. That is the one solid truth that exists for every single one of us. From the richest to the poorest, the blackest to the whitest, the gayest to the straightest, the most religious to the biggest heathen. Nobody escapes death.
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