Does the mid afternoon sunshine cause you to pause and reflect as you watch the particles of dust before you float around in the sun’s rays? I can remember how it suspended my thoughts to this higher consciousness since I was around five years old. I specifically recall one event. My aunt and grandmother would sometimes take me on day trips, often to Stockbridge, Massachusetts. On the drive home, one particular trip, I distinctly remember thinking as the sun shined through the car window and into my face, this is all going to pass before you so quickly and will be gone faster than you can imagine. Then I remember feeling sick to my stomach, that sinking feeling that sometimes lies in truths.
In retrospect, that’s pretty deep for a five-year-old. I knew then that life was fleeting, and that one day I’d be all grown up and that one day my grandmother would die, and that one day everyone else would too. But in that moment, a time when I was far away from death or illness, it felt like death was something that happened to other people, not my relatives. I believed this half heartedly hoping it was true like how older children still believe in Santa Clause, well, kind of, but know he’s a myth. I experienced this feeling of living in a realm of immortality until of course, the day I was woken up by an early morning phone call telling me that my grandmother had cancer, it was that day I could no longer ignore the imminence of death.
Even after she died, and I was in my early twenties, I felt the same sense of immortality. It wasn’t until I sprained my wrist, my first injury ever, that I began to realize how fragile my life was. And of course, there’s nothing like a brush with Death to make you realize how quickly a life could be taken. When I talk about Death, I am not talking about it in the verb form as inthe act of dying. I am literally talking about Death himself, The Grim Reaper.