When I was thirteen years old I was having a shower on a warm sunny morning. One of those mornings where you would have to assume everything is going to be marvelous simply because Mother Nature had set it up. It was a Saturday; I had no school, no homework, no plans and no worries. Then the unexpected happened, I realized I was going to die. Now when I say this, I don't mean the comprehension of what death is finally sunk in. I simply recognized that I personally was slowly working my way to being in the cold hard ground, and what that meant to me.
I sat in that shower and cried. Now, I was never one for cold showers but I ran through all the hot water, and still just sat there (at some point i had given up on standing). By the time I got out of the shower my lips were blue and my eyes were so irritated and inflamed that I could barely open them.
Needless to say, at this point in time, I did not believe in any form of afterlife. I simply accepted that when you die, you cease to exist.
First you live, then you die... then your loved ones take control of your body. Perhaps they burn it, dumping the ash that was once your vestal of existence into a fancy jar. Maybe you will be buried...maybe it will be an open casket. Your now corpseified body will be painted up as good as some strong stomached makeup artist can manage. Then they will invite your friends and family to look at your now lifeless (but now creepily painted) body. There will be food for all your guests, flowers for... who really knows, you sure won't appreciate them. There will be pictures of you when you were looking less than dead; a hodgepodge of randoms, the obligatory cute kid picture and maybe a wedding photo. Most people will cry, talk about how wonderful you were (even if you were a crotchety evil beast), then they will go home and watch reruns of CSI. Except for your closest family members and perhaps a select friend or two, (that's if you are lucky enough to die before they do).
That was my thinking back then. You can perhaps see why I cried my eyes into submission. What a horrifying day that was, but then came the light... well not really. Then came the deeper darker thoughts and much later came the light is more accurate.
The next year of my life I lived looking like a goth, though not intending to. I wonder if the first goth ever could have been found crying in hopelessness, only to end up inadvertently and yet symbolically wearing that feeling. I had just become so depressed with the lack of purpose in existence. I became all too comfortable in my dark broody existence.
Over time I began to see things differently. It took me some time to come to this conclusion but, well; the whole point of living is getting through to the dying. What a gift we have been given! Whether it be by God or chance, we have each been allotted a certain period of time to simply be. Life is like a giant project, without a time limit we would procrastinate to the point of never doing anything, with no time limit there would be no point in setting goals, with no goals there is no point. My purpose is different than yours and probably most any other persons, but its there.
No matter your belief system, even if you believe in reincarnation I think we can all agree that this is the only chance we will ever have to live this version of life. When it comes to that last breath, when you don't know what's coming next, if anything at all, I hope you feel satisfied with what you have done wile you had the chance to do it ...because you don't get a second shot.