At what age did you realize you were not immortal?
How did you react to that discovery?
Thinking back, I believe I discovered immortality at an early age. My grandpa died when I was around 4 or 5 and I really don’t have any memories of the experience or it being traumatic to me. Throughout my childhood, though, I always had nightmares about his grave and it being dug up. I can remember being in my parent’s car and not even being able to look at any cemetery we drove past. Cemeteries and death scared me so much.
My mom later told me they didn’t bring me to my grandpa’s funeral because they thought I was too young. After hearing about my fears she thought maybe that was a mistake.
My sons lost two of their uncles at a young age and I brought them to both their funerals due to my experience. But I’m also not one to shield my children from the realities of life.
As a preteen, my favorite and very much loved uncle, was shot and subsequently paralyzed. We took care of him in our home, having a hospital bed and in-home nurse during the week. It was definitely a learning experience for me and a stressful time for our family.
My uncle was in and out of the hospital with pneumonia, infections and various problems. It was difficult for me to go to the hospital to visit him because of all the sounds, smells and things I saw there. And it became such a routine kind of event because he was in and out so much. I just always knew he was in the hospital and would be home soon.
The last time he went into the hospital with pneumonia, we received a call during the night that he has passed away. Because this had become “normal” and I hated the hospital, I hadn’t visited him during that stay. And did I have extreme guilt and remorse after he died. I took his death extremely hard and at that age I learned not to take life for granted and to tell the people in your life how much you love them.
And take time for people.
Because you never know when it might be the last time you have together.
Death has brushed my life many times having lost both my parents, my closest aunts, who I spent a lot of time with and feel good for that, and most recently, my younger brother.
Realizing my own immortality and of those I love is rock solid in my mind. As I age, it hits home even more, especially after having children of my own.
I’ve learned to appreciate the now, for that’s all that’s guaranteed. Life is finite and we are finite creatures.
Thank you, Great Spirit.
This post is in response to the daily prompt from The Daily Post.