A Writer’s Book of Days — Day 20

Prompt: “An immobile time not marked on clocks” – Charles Baudelaire

“An immobile time not marked on clocks.”

That’s what death feels like. Someone said that, but I can’t remember who.

There’s no outer body experience. There’s no pearly gates waiting to greet me. There’s no light at the end of the tunnel.

There’s just consciousness, and then there’s not. Like a light switch. On. Off. Flick flick.

This is what I believe, but it’s also what I know. Death comes for all of us, and it doesn’t hold your hand when it does. It’s greedy and unfulfilled, constantly lurking in the shadowy corners of hospital rooms, at the bottom of a bottle of Jameson, on the wings of an airplane.

I think about my own mortality a lot. I think a lot about the mortality of others, too. Sometimes, I imagine my life without some of these people, and the yawning ache that swallows me completely is so powerful, so consuming, it literally takes my breath away. I don’t know how I will survive it.

But really, I do know. Because I’ve had to do it many times before. Ashton. Emily. Granddad. More than a decade has passed since their deaths, and just the mere thought of them brings back every last emotion I felt when it first happened, its all its shades and flavors.

For someone so utterly terrified of dying, I sure do think about it a lot.

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