We start our lives young, innocent, reckless, invincible. We can hide in this – personal paradox – for years, even decades, until one day we finally have our first personal brush with death. Maybe it is a loved pet, or grandparent, friend, or even parent, but sometime in our young lives we experience death close to us, and we become forever changed.
We become mortal.
It really isn’t until this self discovery of mortality that we really realize how fragile we are. Sure, we have heard the tales, and understand that we are all just temporary here on this earth, but we don’t truly feel it until death touches us.
It has to be personal.
It has to be close.
And it makes us mortal.
We become forever changed, more cautious, less reckless. We see our elders as… Well older. We feel the fur of our four legged companions and ponder on the fact that one day…
‘Why so morbid?’ you may ask.
Truth is, this is just an interesting thought experiment.
Obviously we are not invincible, or immortal until we are touched by death, but it can sure feel like it. We leap from higher ledges, drive faster, climb further, swim deeper. We take for granted the fact that our families, friends, loved ones, even beloved pets will always be there… Until one day we come to understand.
Or, even worse.
That is the crux of it isn’t it… One day, we will leave someone, or be left alone.
I think back in my life, to all the family, friends, and yes even furry companions I have lost, and I am filled with an epic sadness on how I will never see them again. How I will never get to talk, or walk, or even sit in silence with them again.
They are gone.
And we will go on.
We always go on.
We must go on.
So we do.
We wonder off to the drudgery of our daily lives, putting things off, and moving on. We keep going to work, or school. We spend more time with friends, and family always remembering to say – I love you – because one day…
Yet, we still won’t climb as high, leap as far, swim as deep, drive as fast.
Because we are afraid.
We don’t want to go.
Who, really, wants to go.
But… If we don’t experience life…
Are we then already dead?