How To Die (Without Actually Dying)


I had lost track of the number of times I had nearly died.

While traveling through Southeast Asia the vehicles were always inches from each other, even when they met doing 60+ km/h. Drivers would make blind, suicidal passes driving up curvy mountain roads. Our vehicle would come within inches of the cliff’s edge. When wandering Angkor Wat, the Preah Khan temple to be exact, I tripped walking across a patch of wet rock. My head landed in a perfectly sized space between two jagged rocks. My shoulder was bruised and my hand badly scraped. In Indonesia I didn’t take a shit for nearly two weeks because of (unknowingly to me at the time) my malaria medication. I could hardly walk and was in constant pain. The timely stopping of the medication combined with laxatives saved me.

I survived it all. Some situations were probably a coin toss. Luck could have went against me, my number could have been drawn. If so there would have been a period of time (hours, maybe days) where everyone I’ve known would be unaffected by my passing. They wouldn’t begin grieving until they found out. Aside from that additional knowledge the situation wouldn’t have changed. I would have been dead and they would have been fine. Business as usual. The realization of never being able to see someone we love again or knowing they are no longer with us is heart wrenching. Sometimes I will think it’d be nicer if when I died that everyone could just go on thinking that I was extending my vacation.

Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m going to stay here a little longer. I miss you. I love you. Tell everyone else back home the same.

Until next time,

Without technology (the Internet, telephone, etc.) when you or someone you love is away you can no longer be certain if they’re alive or not. You keep on living though. You miss them now and again. You think about them. Maybe you write them a letter. You try to have fun and hope that they are too. You aren’t with them though and you can’t talk to them. You look forward to updates and reuniting someday.

No matter how hard we try, we are all susceptible to missing things. I miss Hayley and Cayden every day.

I always try to draw strength and create something positive from it. Sometimes it helps me to imagine that they are just traveling. Today they are on an elephant trek in Northern Thailand. I miss them. I think about them. I write to them. I try to have fun. I can’t see or talk to them. I haven’t heard from them in awhile. I look forward to our reunion.


2 thoughts on “How To Die (Without Actually Dying)

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