Death is not something I engage with on the regular. I have been lucky in my lifetime not to have had too many traumatic losses. The only nod to my mortality has been my choice to live my life fully and strive for happiness.
I guess 2017 did not get the memo on my life motto. This second half of 2017 has made me think of my mortality in ways that are real. At this point, I am grateful to still be living. Still, I find myself not thinking about death but thinking about life, despite my recent forced acknowledgment of my own mortality. I find that as I start to regain my health, I am more interested in ways to live fully. How do I recover from what has been a traumatic health scare and affirm my life with my choices? How do I live with grace?
I have been laying low for over a week now. I am not allowed to do anything major at the moment. In some of my low moments being an invalid, I questioned how I could be strong in one moment and unable to lift my bags in the next. I have cried at the vulnerability required to say I need help.
The one thing that has been amazing about this trauma has been discovering how much love have in my life. It is in the moments when I am talking to my parents and they are both concerned but so gentle. In that moment, I am no longer 31. I am their child. It is negotiating with my older sister if I can go out for an hour or two. My independence be damned, I am her little sister. It is in my friends creating a cozy corner in their home so that I can nap while visiting. It is in my best friend being emotional the first day I sounded like myself in a long time.
Things have been scary for me. Things will be scary for me. But none of that matters because I recognize that if I can keep my life filled with love, joy and laughter, it will get better. I’ll always have my family and friends to carry me through, near or far.
As I get through this moment, I have come to understand that I needed this trauma. I needed it to remind me to live. To not take time for granted. To do the things that I am scared of. It was a reminder that I am not alive forever. I need to not regret the things I haven’t done. I need to do more. I need to be fearless. I need to truly chase the impossible.