Enter the big pink elephant smack dab in the middle of your living room. I feel that part of my responsibility, as an assiduous blogger, is to chat about the things that people think about, but don’t necessarily talk about. I was talking to a friend earlier this week, when she told me that her mother had passed away recently. This was surprising to me, seeing as I had not heard about her being ill. My friend went on detailing the story about her mother who went shopping at a local mall. While on the way back to the car, with bags in tow, she tripped over a curb, lost her balance, and fell, hitting the back of her head. She never regained consciousness and was buried a week later.
This got me thinking about the one hard fact that no one can deny… we will all die someday. Death is the one thing that everyone does, but we all do it alone. It’s kind of sad…. you are born alone, and die alone. One day you’re out on a leisure-shopping trip and in a flash (Boom!)…. life is over. If you are like me, this thought is terrifying. But why is it? Are we so fearful of the Grim Reaper that we pretend he isn’t following us around everyday?
There was a car accident on my street, which killed a 13 year-old boy. I was curious about how this had happened, so I searched for deaths in my area, with the hope of finding more information. Perky’s Advice: Do not do this! It’s not a smart way to pass time. I was shocked to see how many people in my area had passed away just in the last week. A man up the street from me died in his front lawn while gardening. A woman was found dead in her home. A young girl committed suicide by jumping off a building right next to my office. The list goes on and on. We are surrounded by death everyday, but we are so sheltered from it. Why?
My loyal readers, you know that I have been through more medical surgeries and health complications than you could shake a stick at. I have faced death many times and each experience was horrifying. I’ve had that very real fear that I might not wake up from a surgery and even detailed to my mom over the phone what I wanted for my funeral, moments before going under the knife. So if I have had so many close calls, why is death more frightening than finding out monsters do live under your bed?
It is the fear of the unknown. No one truly knows what happens when we die. I would like to believe that I’d spend eternity with loved ones, bouncing around on a fluffy cloud, playing a harp, hanging out with my childhood pets, and enjoying an unlimited amount of Fro Yo. But the truth is we don’t know and that’s terrifying. So what can the Perky Parkie do to change the fear of death into something positive? I can use it as fuel to live a productive, happy and healthy life. My fear of death has driven me to help so many people. I understand that my time here on earth is short and I don’t want my pain and suffering to be for nothing, so each day I try to find new ways to reach people. Just like the promise I made to Earl Bakken, founder of Medtronic, I will “Live On. Give On”. So when my day comes, and I have a date with the Grim Reaper, I know I have lived everyday like it was my last. Hopefully, I can die doing something noble, but most likely I will die from tripping over my dog and then choking on a spoon full of frosting.
-Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. –James Dean