Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Bell Tolls

Sometimes I forget that life is a temporary condition.

My grandpa died from a heart attack when my dad was 17 and he was only 56. When I was too young to understand death, my parents told me that he died because his heart just stopped. I believed that death was a random and unexpected occurence, something that could happen to anyone at any time. I would constantly check to make sure my heart was still beating, and I remember being scared in the car because I couldn't feel my heartbeat through the vibrations.

When I was little, I thought about death a lot. When I was very young, probably even younger than six, I believed that dying meant falling asleep and not waking up. I thought that every time you went to sleep at night, there was a chance that you wouldn't wake up in the morning. I was so afraid that my parents wouldn't wake up the next morning. When I was too young to understand death, I understood the unpredictability of life and that everyone I care about could disappear in a moment.

I remember sitting in the corner of the kitchen on the floor in my old house, which means I was definitely younger than 7, listening to talk of some natural disaster on the news. I sat there hugging my doll (which I had a major attachment to--it's still in my room) and thinking about how I can't ever let go of her because if the world ended, I would want her to be with me. I thought that everyone else can run, but my doll needed me to carry her.

I don't think much about death anymore. Now I know that your heart doesn't just stop. I know that sleeping and dying are not the same thing. Whether it be my own or anyone else's, and it's hard for me to even imagine until a real, unexpected, heart-just-stopped kind of death makes me think. A healthy 16 year old girl died unexpectedly. I didn't know her, but all I could think about was how her parents, her brother, and her best friends must feel. It made me think about what I would do if I lost my best friend like they lost her. I can't even imagine how that must feel, but it was enough to make me cry a little. For them and for her.

Now it seems so easy to take everything for granted. You don't consider the possibility that everyone you love may not wake up tomorrow. You don't think about that probable day in the future when your best friend is no longer your best friend, when your relationship is reduced to awkward generic conversations on holidays. Over something as simple as geographic distance or as serious as the difference between life and death, you can lose someone who means the world to you.

When life disappears, love stays.



  1. Heyyy now you made me cry (the Evanescence song I'm still playing over and over probably contributed to that too) xP

    My dad's dad also died when he was pretty young and I never got to meet him. When I was little I didn't understand death, but I didn't spend much time thinking about it.

    I don't even want to think about what I would do if something happened to one of my close friends. Even though I've only known most of you for about a year now my friends are like my second family. I don't know if this is normal, but for some reason I think a lot about what would happen if I died. It's not that I have the extreme desire to know because then I would have to die to find out and I'm not planning on doing that in the near future, but I wonder about how people would react.

    You don't consider those types of things happening because it seems like they would never happen; or just that you don't want them to. Ignorance is bliss and as long as you don't think about those things, it's almost like they don't exist until it actually happens. It makes you a happier person to not think about anything like that happening, but reality is reality and anything can happen to anyone.

  2. I think all the time about how much it's going to hurt to leave you guys after high school, but then I think that compared to anyone dying, it really isn't that bad. least you're still alive. Death makes any other kind of loss seem unimportant because as long as they're still alive, you can get them back.

    I remember daydreaming a lot during school in elementary school about what kind of announcement they would make to the school if I died, and who would care. I haven't thought about that in a while.