Death Comes Ripping

Flesh and blood
Too weak for you
Death comes ripping

- Misfits, Death Comes Ripping

Death is a toxic event that disintegrates your world like a depth charge exploding in the shallow puddle of life's liquid. The topic for me has become inescapable due to recent passings of friends and relatives.

As children, humans are fearless and believe themselves indestructible; I did. Perhaps my friends and I are an anomaly, but during our youth we survived being shot with flare guns and rifles, countless go-cart and bmx stunts, jumping off of rooftops, falling out of tree forts and other boyhood type events. Fortunate youths will cruise through many years of carefree existence without receiving negative biopsy results or tragedy laden phone calls from relatives in early morning or experiencing the death of a loved one save for the occasional pet. There will be no regret of feuds not reconciled or not finding time for one last phone call in time to say goodbye.

Adulthood changes things with its subtleties like moving away for jobs, marriage and more grown-up priorities. Garden State-type situations crop up and force us to take stock of our current state if just for a moment. What's our legacy to be? Are our lives going in the right direction? How can we be certain of anything?

Eventually days grow into weeks, months and years. Enough time passes and life begins to regain some form of normalcy, but the footprint of one's existence, life's puddle, is never the same. Some elements of life have been vaporized. They are gone forever and live on only in memories until time steals those away too. Indestructibility wains and mortality approaches with each birthday.

I have come to learn that life is a viscious cycle of trading one's mortality for new experiences that create bonds with others and become memories themselves. Ideally the key is to enjoy each second as it ticks by and revel in the outcome. The hard part is achieving the ideal.

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