12 January, 2012

My Surreal Daily Grapplings with Death

I lost my balance and nearly slipped in the shower this morning, which led me down a train of thought something like this:
If I fell in this tiny shower, I would fall out of the shower and knock my head on something. If I was knocked unconscious, or lay bleeding to death on my bathroom floor, how long would it take anyone to notice?
See, being single and living alone, I consider these things often. I’m totally comfortable thinking/talking about death – some might even say “cavalier” – not in a morbid or gory sense but in a death-is-a-fact-of-life sense. If you are not comfortable with the subject of death, maybe this post is not for you. …See you tomorrow!

Anyway, I played out my train of thought this morning:

They weren’t expecting me on time at work today because I was taking my money pit of a car to the garage first thing, and had left the message that I’d just call today when I knew how long I’d be. So... what, would they try calling me at noon, or when? We’re pretty relaxed at work about a person’s time away from the office at this time of year. Maybe I’d get a text late in the day instead, or maybe everyone would just think that someone else had checked in with me! Depends how busy the day is. So it’s not inconceivable that I could be lying on my bathroom floor bleeding to death until tomorrow morning, and even then, late enough in the morning for people to wonder why I hadn’t called!

Then I remembered I have dinner plans tonight, with the same person who is my emergency contact, as it happens. So if I was non-responsive to her texts during the day about time, pizza toppings, etc., she would probably actually come by the house and peer in some windows, or even – because she’s that kind of go-getter – talk to my neighbor about getting into the house. That would be much better, because if the two of them discovered me, at least it would be two women who know me reasonably well who would discover my naked, battered body…and the shower still on, running water everywhere! (Important, because they could turn off the water and discreetly cover me up until paramedics/coroner arrived.)

I run these scenarios a lot. Anytime I go on a trip – road-trip question: Who would know if I was in a fatal car accident lying literally dead in a ditch somewhere? Air-trip question: Who would the airlines notify if my plane went down? Or just at home – I wake up coughing and take a coughdrop, then what if I choke to death in my sleep – who would know? I am forever breaking glasses (I bought two sets of wine glasses just to have extras) – what if I couldn’t stem the bleeding, or passed out from it before calling 911, and bled to death on the kitchen floor?

…and somehow it seems odd to me when others think I’m being morbid. I once told my mom about the train of thought when I flew out to visit them, and she gave her nervous laugh and said something mother-y about my dark mind. I told my sister I want her to read Psalm 19 at my funeral – because I do! – and she still hasn’t responded. It’s a compliment, because she has a great voice for reading aloud, but maybe it’s just too weird for her to think of her little sister’s death…and I guess being asked to read at someone’s funeral isn’t the same kind of compliment as being asked to be a bridesmaid at their wedding!

I really don’t know where I’m going with this. I'm not sorry to have to think like this; I'm not wishing for a change in my single-status so that someone else could think of these things - I'm happy being single, and that's the truth! I guess it's just one of those things that make me wonder... and if no one else thinks like this, maybe it's one of those things that raise my freak flag, too. Hmm...

So I’ll just close with a very good quote from a very wise man: “Death is a natural part of life. Rejoice for those who transform into the Force. Mourn them do not. Miss them do not.”


  1. Right after high school, I started college as a mortuary science major. Which means my job would be to mess with dead people all day. I soon switched to a career in ministry. I now work as a 911 dispatcher, so I am surrounded by horrible accidents and death all the time.

    It is natural. It happens to everyone and you never know when disaster will be at your door. I am also very open about it, but do not think I am morbid. Others may disagree. It is a very uncomfortable topic for many.

    The best sermons I have ever preached have been at the funerals of people I knew.

  2. Going home. That's what I'll be doing when I shuffle off this mortal coil!
    Party on!

    1. Weird, I can reply to your comment, but not to the post itself.

      These thoughts are normal, at least I think so.

      I love the building we live in, but I am not fond of how unfriendly and non-neighborly everyone is - I haven't much faith that any of them would notice if something happened, and I've thought about it numerous times when my husband is traveling. It isn't morbid, just, you know, considering the facts of a situation.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.