A topic has come up that everyone faces at some point in their lives, are you afraid of dying? Now, I know that some people will adamantly say NO. But, the truth is, we really don't know until we are faced with it. When we are faced with it, what really goes through our minds... that's assuming that we have time to think about it. I for example, have lived the majority of my life with death hovering over my shoulder. When I was a child I had leukemia. It's not a disease that is cured. Either it goes away or it doesn't. If it doesn't then your life expectancy is generally a couple of years, at best. If it goes into remission, i.e. goes away, then it can come back with a vengeance any time during your life. If it does, life expectancy drops to months, in some cases weeks. But, when you reach 40 years of age you can pretty much breathe a sigh of relief. There are very few cases of childhood leukemia coming back to haunt someone after they have turned 40. So... as I said death has been a constant companion for most of my life, hence my view of death will, understandably be a bit skewed.
That is not to say that I have not had other instances where death has reared its ugly head. My job in Law Enforcement has placed me in several situations where I was either threatened with a knife or gun. I can honestly say that in those situations I never once thought about dying. I was more concerned with the lives of others that might be in danger if this idiot decided to become even more stupid. When faced with a knife, I jumped between the attacker and victims. When faced with a gun, I once more jumped between the attacker and his intended victim, and then for good measure I punched the man in the chest. I continued to punch him in the chest until he had backed away far enough for the potential victim to depart. That is when the rest of the gang sucked the jerk into their rolling ghetto mobile that looked like a pin cushion because of all the guns sticking out of it. The man ended up in prison and his intended victim lives a nice quite happy life today. Suffice it to say, for me, if I am faced with a choice of death or the death of another, I will always choose myself first. But, if it was me alone... well that one happened once too... and I'm still here, but not because the other one is gone, but because I talked him out of it.
Many would ask me why didn't I just shoot them. The answer is simple, collateral damage. Movies are great, but they are not reality and they do not show things as if they were. Bullets don't stop just because they hit a person. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don't. You need to know everything about the gun and the rounds that you are using. If you don't... bad things can happen. In each instance I was in a crowded area. There were people walking around and cars full of people on the street. If I had shot, there was a very high chance that someone else would catch my round, even if I hit the guy that I was shooting at. I'm a good shot. I would not have missed. But the rounds that I was carrying in each instance would have gone through the attacker and into something or someone else. Law Enforcement is never black and white. Officers live their lives in a gray area.
But, now we've gotten off track. The question is, are you afraid of dying? A pious person would tell you that they are not. They believe that they are going on to something else, that death is just another part of the process of living. They wouldn't be wrong in that aspect, everyone dies, even Jesus died. But, there are very few accounts of people being raised from the dead or of any actual after life. There are some of course and we have discussed them here upon occasion, still are you afraid of dying?
I know that once I turned 40 I thought that my life could finally begin. For 8 blissful years I lived like I had not lived in the previous 36 years (I had leukemia at age 4). Yet death was not done with me. Apparently it likes me, for it let me imagine that I was free for 8 years and then it came and swung the scythe at me and hit blood. I was diagnosed with diabetes. I remember when my doctor told me. I felt the cold finger of death run up my spine. I felt the chill enter my bones, like I hadn't felt since I was a child. I remember those times too, when my fevers would rage for so long and be so hot that I dreamt that I was in a fire and my flesh was melting. This time, this time was different and the same. My blood had once again betrayed me. I remember arguing with my doctor. She had to be wrong. But she wasn't, and as the cloak of death once again settled over my life, in fear, I accepted my fate.
Am I afraid of death? What would be the point? Death is my constant companion. I neither fear him, or embrace him, he's just there, always beside me. Sometimes he pokes me and reminds me of what is to come. I can become despondent, or continue to move forward. I choose to move forward. But, this is a choice that I made a long time ago when I first realized what leukemia was and how it would be a part of my life. I've always lived by this rule, never slow down and never give in that way, even if you don't win, you will never lose.
Live well and be good to each other.