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Dying isn’t half as hard as living.
When faced with the decision to choose between the two, we often find comfort in the notion that we would undoubtedly choose to live. Making this decision is a circumstance that many never get to see. Morbid as it may seem, there is something to be said about the solace of death’s embrace.
I, like you, had never truly considered the difficulty that came with making this resolution. I never thought I’d have to. I had no reason to die. I was happy with my life. It wasn’t perfect, but it was enough. I had a close knit family, some nice friends, and I did alright in school. We lived in a small house in the countryside, and I was content. When I said goodbye to my parents one innocent Thursday afternoon, they had no idea it would be the last time. And it was my choice.
It was my last homecoming game of high school. I was finally a senior. I had just been accepted to my top choice university, and I was counting down the days until the start of my future. Even so, I was looking forward to cheering on the football team from the bleachers with my friends for the last time. We had planned to meet in the parking lot a few minutes before the game started in order to get some snacks and score spots at the front of the student section. As I hopped into my bright blue 2001 Ford Taurus and put the key into ignition, I was completely oblivious to the fact that I would never get to see the blaring lights of the football field. But once again, it was my choice.
The route to school consisted of a path of narrow and windy roads. There were no more than a few cars on the road, and the start of the ride was slow and easy. I watched the colors of the sky as they performed their dance through my windshield, and instantly felt at ease. Pinks and oranges swirled over the vast, open fields of the country, consuming the blues of the sky. The colors intensified as the sun began to sink deeper and deeper into the earth. Soon enough, the world was dark. But it was a comforting darkness.
As I was turning a bend about a mile away from school, I was paralyzed by a blinding flash of light. Next came the sound. The sound that consumed my entire being. First it was a loud screech. Rubber struggling to make it’s grip on cement and failing. Next came the crash. Never in my seventeen years of living had I heard such a deafening noise. It was then that I realized what had happened.
My realization came a moment too late. I was jerked forward violently, and my head smashed directly into the steering wheel, and I felt a sharp object pierce my abdomen. I felt a warm sensation slither down my right temple, onto my cheek and drip down the entirety of my body. The taste of copper was so strong inside my mouth that it took over the entirety of my senses. Blood. And lots of it.
I slowly felt myself drifting in and out of consciousness. The world around me started to blur, and then the blood splattered, shattered windshield came back in and out of focus. Soon enough, all I could see was red. And then it was black.
I found myself at a sort of in between state. I was aware that I was not completely conscious, but I was not dead either. Where am I? I was comatose. What does this mean? It was as though my mind was turned on, while my body was completely shut down. What do I do?
Suddenly, a speck of light emerged from the eternal darkness of my unconscious mind. It came toward me slowly at first, and then exponentially faster and more intense until I was stunned.
This light took over every one of my working senses and consumed whatever was left of my consciousness. It seemed as though allowing the light to take over would be the way to bring myself back.
It was at this moment that I realized that I had been given a choice. I had the ability to resist the light. As absurd as it sounds, there was a part of me that was somewhat intrigued by this idea of resistance.
I had two choices in front of me. Life and death. I found comfort in the idea of being enveloped into a black abyss. I was seduced by the euphoria of letting everything go. I pushed back against the light and it drifted away.
Everything faded to black. And then nothingness. Just like that.
Dying isn’t half as hard as living.