Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fight or flight

It's easy for me to say, and believe, that I would fight to stay alive if I knew I was dying. I'm sitting here in a comfortable chair and not feeling any pain.

When I was twenty-two, I went into the hospital to have a brain tumor surgically removed. I'd been living with it, and enduring pain, for years. By the time I went onto the table, and felt them popping the anesthesia into my spine, I was so tired I didn't care if I woke up or not.

When I did wake up, I woke up without any fear of death. I don't know why. I felt like I had a brief experience with not existing, and realized that it was kind of nice in its own way. It wasn't painful. And it wasn't boring.

I do still have fears... and dangerous situations are still scary. But I don't fear death anymore - I don't fear not existing. I think it's because I can imagine what it's like now. I expect it will be fairly comfortable.

The transition, however... the letting go. The trading of life for death, that's still a slightly scary notion to me. If I could choose, I think I'd choose to go on drugs as well. Mushrooms and Morphine (or, even better, Stadol), in a forest meadow on a warm autumn day, surrounded by impossibly bright colors, beneath a parade of clouds, all of which look like types of animals.


Spider63 said...

There's about 17 of you working on this blog and you can only manage about one post every five months?

templar said...

firstly, spider63, i don't think its work and i don't think its outcome-driven.

secondly, Matt, a friend had a brush with death and, without the intervention of modern medicine, would have died on two occassions. although he has never wished for death, he suffered a mild depression because he felt he was meant to have died and had somehow cheated nature. i think it was just a morphine hangover.