On Death, and Life

Sometimes I marvel that human life exists for longer than a mayfly’s. With news of wars, car accidents, freak accidents, illnesses, and more, sometimes it feels like we are constantly living in some kind of Final Destination scenario: everything is trying to kill us.
And yet, here we are, living another day.
It flummoxes me. It feels like, what with all the peril we encounter every day, that we are all, individually and collectively, beating the odds. And that amazes me.
Sometimes, because of circumstances or age or geography, it seems like the odds get really stacked against us. That things almost compete to try to off you first.
I knew someone who worked at a cancer-education place. She said it was crazy how nonprofits competed to be “worst.” See, if your illness was “worst” or “deadliest,” you could pull more funding, get more grants. In a twisted way, it was like the nonprofits were sort of hoping that their illness would be the most horrible.
Maybe the illnesses and other maladies are competing. Maybe they really are conspiring to get us.
It feels that way. A family member of mine is dealing with a cascade of health problems now… I’ll be macabre and say it: it’s like a race. Will it be age that does it? The broken hip? Maybe that mole is really a cancerous growth. Perhaps it will be pneumonia, slipped in on the hand of a healthcare aid.
Are they placing bets?
When I was recovering from a rough patch in life, I wrote a short story, attempting to highlight this: how many things are trying to get you any given day. I laced it with real death statistics to try to hammer the point home. And yet, my conclusion went somewhere totally different (in the way that writing sometimes does). It ended up not bleak but hopeful: there are all these things, and yet…life goes on.
Life goes on. What a miracle.
In the immortal and wise words of Kurt Vonnegut: So it goes.

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