The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Tick Tock: Watching the Clock Tick Towards Your Death

For anyone who has ever had an animal in their life, you understand how they truly become a part of the family. I always find that the people who have never had a pet (I don’t really like that term but you get my meaning) never truly understand companionship. You form a bond with that living creature. You love them and they love you. You take care of them and they give you all kinds of indescribable everything.

As most animals do not live as long as humans, it is truly devastation when they pass on. Some of my most emotional losses have come when one of my animal friends has left this life.

A few weeks back, we took one of our cats to the vet to have her yearly checkup. This cat is getting a bit older but she seems very healthy. The vet told us her kidneys were deteriorating and that there’s a ninety-five percent chance that she will not live more than a year or two. Wow! That’s a big one!

The thing is though, think about this, we know her life expectancy; she does not. We know when she is supposed to die. But, she does not. She is just living her life as best as she can. I believe she’s happy. She has her routines; her likes and her dislikes. She is passing through her days but does not know her clock is ticking.

In life, we are all going to die. That’s the reality. The reality that no one wants to think about. Most of us don’t know when it will happen.

In my life, I have been right up against the wall of life and death a couple of times. The first time was when I was three. The next-door neighbor, to my grandmother, pushed me off of her porch, because I was white, and I got a compound fracture on my elbow. I’m told that I went into complete cardiac arrest one night while I was in the hospital. I don’t remember that, though I do have those medical records. I do, of course, remember the hospital and that it was a pretty scary experience for a three year old, being without family at night and stuff like that. But, I lived.

I have experienced a few other very close calls. Of course, being hit on my motorcycle by a car when I was twenty-one, where my skull was fractured in numerous places; I was definitely knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door. But, there has been others times where I was very conscious and came face-to-face with the experience. Rock climbing as a teenager, I lost my grip and started uncontrollably sliding down the rock face. I closed my eyes. I mentally let go, knowing I was going to die. But, amazingly/magically my foot caught on a rock just at the edge of the gorge that kept me from going over the cliff. There was a time when I was a kid, just after my father died, and my uncle was driving me to his hometown and these Native-Americans ran us off of the road in Arizona. The car flipped, I saw what looked to be my passenger window breaking, I knew I was going to die. I let go… But, I didn’t die. I OD’d on coke one night back in the 80s. Don’t try that at home children… But anyway, I’ve been close a few times.

I think on a certain level, in some ways, the best way to go is quick and unexpected. My father instantaneously died of a massive heart attack. He was still in his forties. But, he went out quick.

I have also known people that knew death was oncoming. Most of them, I found, did nothing different. They didn’t dig deep into their psyche and find any deeper meaning to their life or what was to come. A few, one in particular, who had been a total asshole to a lot of people, apologized to some of those people on his deathbed. Though a nice gesture, I don’t know what good that really did. Did it change what he had done? No.

So, here’s the thing, and this is something that we all need to think about; we are all going to die. Right now, most of us don’t know when. And, that’s a good thing. For some of us, it will come quickly, in a flash of light. For others, it will be a long slow process. But, the question you must keep in your mind is what are you doing right now to prepare for that moment when you are no more? What has your life meant? Who have you helped? Who have you hurt? And, what are you going to do right now, today, to make yourself a meaningful expression of existence if you leave this life tomorrow?