A Soft Pat on the Hand
I wish I could tell you that you're going to survive this, but you won't. I know. You want to put this letter down already. You want to run away before you read the stark truth contained within these pages. The unfortunate reality is that you'll know what I've written all too well, in the end. We all will. Because... None of us is going to survive this.
Not your children. Or pets. Or even the giant sequoia tree you planted as a seedling. Sure, it might outlive the rest of us, but eventually, under some circumstance or other, it'll die. You'll die. I will die.
And frankly, that's terrifying.
But it's also kinda wonderful.
Can you imagine the low stake rubbish our lives would become otherwise?
You know, for a brief, shinning moment, we'd captured it. That phrase "You only live once." It was a hollow call that sang to the heart of us all. It was an anthem of freedom: jump. Run. Walk barefoot in the forest. Swim in the ocean. Taste the essence of life.
Before it became an excuse to eat tide pods, the heart of the sentiment was pure.
You. Only. Live. Once.
Yeah, yeah. We're not talking about your theories or beliefs here. We're talking about now. Today.
You get one.
And then it's gone.
Shit. It'd be easy to collapse under the weight of such a responsibility, wouldn't it?
So many of us do. Wasting hours scrolling, eating, loathing ourselves and everyone else on this god forsaken planet. I do it. God, how many hours of my life have I wasted playing fucking Candy Crush?
And I'm not saying we don't sometimes need to "zone out," for lack of a better term. We do.
Zoning out and checking out are two different things.
Have you checked out of your own life?
Have you signed off?
Are you content to waste one more precious, finite second doing all this shit you hate?
Screw being stuck.
Dig yourself out.
We are running out of time.
And I've seen people die. I've seen the breath of life leave their bodies in one quaking, gasping shudder. I've seen their souls clinging about the ceilings, yanking at the hair of their loved ones, desperate for one last touch. The lights flicker to the sounds of their screams: their agony at having wasted such an opportunity as life itself. And before they can touch-- hold to their loved ones one last time-- they're sucked away into the abyss. For better or worse. To the sound of heaven's trumpets or the shrieking parlor of hell.
And then I've seen the quiet peace of saying goodbye to a life well spent. The room is warm. The hearts that ache, but do not shatter fill all the world for but one moment with the sound of their pulsing love. There is light, and quiet, and a silence that does not grate, in that moment-- in that soft rush of breath. These souls do not cling about the shoulders or scream or weep. They exit our world with a soft pat on the hand of the one sitting beside their bed. And the tears that fall water flowers in a garden of memory.
I want to step quietly.
I want to know, when my time has come that I have lived and loved and held tight to the things that are truly important. I want you to know it, too.
Because, I want to tell you that you'll make it out of this alive...
But you won't.
And if death should greet me on the morrow, I would leave with a soft pat on the hand.