Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Living For Today

"...and suddenly you are just one car away from having your number called"

That was how my boss felt as he described to me over lunch the terrible accident he had witnessed while driving up north this weekend. The accident involved three cars: car 1 contained a woman driver, her husband passenger, and their two children in the back seat; car 2 contained a family as well; car 3 contained a man and his son. Car one apparently hit car 2 head on (at 55 miles an hour) then proceeded to flip, mid-air, landing on top of car 3. Everyone except one person in car 2 was killed. At fault, was the woman driving car 1.

My boss described the horror he felt as he pulled who he could out of crushed vehicles, and worked to keep people conscious. He also admitted the complete defeat he felt as he realized there was nothing he could possibly do for those in car 2. As the silence deafened the scene, he realized the fatality that car had experienced.

"The hardest part about the whole thing was driving away. Because on Monday, my life will go back to normal, but these people's lives are forever changed."

It's so scary and completely humbling at the same time. I think it's hard for many of us to not feel invincible at the beginning of each day. We wake up, carry on our morning routines, and never really think that this very well could be our last day on earth...the last time we'll ever see our beds again or hear that alarm clock. We carry on thinking "It won't happen to me...at least not today"

At the back of my own mind, the thought of death is constantly there: how it's going to happen, will it be painful or quick, what will forever really be like, will I know I'm dead or will a light just suddenly shut off and that's it for me...forever. It scares the sh*t out of me and it makes me ill thinking about it. But even though I think about death on a daily basis, there is still a part of me that doesn't believe it will happen to me. I never truly believe that this could be my last day on earth. I always try to appreciate everything I encounter, each and every single day, but I wonder what I would do differently if I truly believed each and every day would be my last.

Honestly, it sounds incredibly exhausting. I think maybe it's easier for us to remain invincible in our heads...it keeps us enjoying the day, instead of dreading it's end.

Do you live each day as though it could be your last? If so, how do you do it?


Erin Nevicosi said...

Ugh, what a terribly sad story. And to witness something like that? I can't even imagine.

I sort of think the whole "live each day as if it's your last" mantra is silly. If this were ACTUALLY my last day on Earth and I knew it, I certainly wouldn't be sitting at work!

However, I do think it's incredibly important to live each day as well as you can, to try and stay positive, and to be very thankful for all of life's blessings. None of us know how much time we might have left.

I think I'm a very thankful person who is very aware of my blessings, so in that way, I do think I live each day as if it could be my last.

What a freakin scary thought, though. I, like you, think about death WAY too much. My own and the deaths of those I love. It's slightly ridiculous, actually.

Elizabeth said...

I didn't read this post, but think I understand the basic idea behind it. I didn't read it b/c I'm dealing with the loss of one of our students right now and it's still a little too fresh to read this post... I'm tired of crying. But, I love the premise here. It's a blessing to be reminded of our own mortality and to remember that we do need to live each day as big and as loud as we can.

Farrah said...

I have major issues about death/dying. The only thing that helps me sometimes is to remember I only have to do it once. It's so cliche, but for some reason, it helps me.

Jessie said...

That is so sad, especially because things like that happen everyday.

Honestly, no, I don't live each day like it could be my last. I should probably start. But then again, if I did start, I am not really sure what exactly I would change.

OC said...

Wow, that's scary. I wish I could say that I lived each day as if it was my last... but I am more a go with the flow kind of person. Which would you think would be the best way to go through life, though?

Christi said...

Erin, you are one of the most grateful people I know. People could learn a lot from you in respect to an outlook and an appreciation on life!

Elizabeth, i am so sorry to hear about your loss and I'm really sorry that I had to ingrain the hurt even more through a post. Thanks for your words regardless. They are always appreciated!

Farrah, oh man the thought of only having to do it once is what TERRIFIES me!

OC, I don't know how I feel the best way to live is. I think Erin said it best. If I truly lived each day as if it were my last, I don't think I would bother getting up to come to work, or to get in my car, or to go grocery shopping. I would lay in bed, cuddled with someone I love, enjoying those last moments together! That's no way to go about living each and every day.

Danny from Milwaukee said...

Brutal story. I'm with Erin on the "live each day as if it were your last" cliche though. It's horrible when stuff like this happens, but the vast majority of us are going to make it through tomorrow and the next day and the next year and the next ten years etc. We should live each day as if we'll live until the age of somewhere between age 72 and 85.