Friday, February 22, 2008

Winter Hike

Going backpacking for the weekend in the snow.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Life and Death

As I have grown up, I became more aware of death. Not the fear of it, per say, no...more understanding it. I have long realized that life is fickle and at any moment we can be swept away to the infinite abyss that is "death". What death means to me is still yet to be decided, agnostic at best, but I do realize that with everyday, I find myself less and less afraid of the significant "D" word.

Why the sudden need to talk about something so dire?

Well for the first time in my life, I witnessed a fit, healthy 20 year old have a heart attack. I have witnessed first-hand what it looks like to give chest compressions and use an AED; and what it looks like to watch someone almost die and come back to life (albeit barely). I do not think it dawned on me until a few days later how once again I am greatly changed by an important, yet small part of life that has had an amazing impact on how I view the world.

I was surprised that I was not more disturbed by the whole occurrence. I felt as I should have been shaken to the core, that I should have shed some tears (as many others did), but I was comfortable, relaxed, on-the-ball during the whole conundrum. I realized a few days later, that the experience did change me but not as some, I felt a surge of who I am. Within this young man's suffering was an emergence of life in me.

Do not get me wrong, it was a horrible scene and very intense, but as I reflect back to the incident, it made me realize that I am built to be a calm in these times. I understand that to "die" or to experience "dying" will be a part of all of our lives---and that does not scare me. I am not sure that those feelings are either good nor bad, but for me it gave me another sense of purpose. That in a moment of urgency or even emergency, that I will be calm and level headed enough to make tough, smart decisions...and that at times all of your efforts will be in vain and other times will end with an amazing miracle, but to feel that is life.

I am no longer afraid of the struggles and complications of life. Sure I will get stressed and even cry on occasions, but in the big scheme of things I thank my lucky stars that life is as challenging as it is. So that I know that I am becoming the best that I can be, and that when I die, I feel I have learned and grown, and that all things are life lessons.