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I Tried Being Dead Once...It Didn't Take.

Some of you may or may not know this about me, but I've actually been dead. At least once that I know of.

In the summer of 1997, I found out that I had a congenital defect in my heart that was going to basically kill me in 6 months if left untreated. That's some heady news to get at age 25. I had a wife of 4 years and we had a 3 yr. old daughter. I wasn't quite ready to lose my daughter (the wife is a story for another time).

So, that August I had open heart surgery.

I just recently went back and watched a video of the procedure (the internet is a wonderful thing). And I confirmed something that I always kind of knew in the back of my mind but always played off in my joking manner. They stopped my heart to repair it.  Which pretty much means I was on life support for most of the 5 hours that I was on the operating table.

Which, in my mind, means I was pretty much dead.  While not technically dead in the medical sense, they actually killed me (stopped the heart) to fix me.

And while that might freak some people out, I've actually learned to take comfort in that knowledge.

I'll tell you why.

What's the worst possible thing you can think of to happen to you right now?

Dying?

That's many people's answer. And with good reason. It has a certain sense of permanence to it, doesn't it?
Many people when faced with that, decide to get busy trying to make sense out of their lives. Live each day like it was their last, and the like.

And that's cool. So..why would I take comfort in the knowledge that I was for the most part dead for 5 hours on August 25th, 1997?

Because the worst thing that could happen to me in this life (which is the end of it), has already happened.

I've already been dead. I didn't much care for it.

What it comes down to is this. It's a reminder of (A) my mortality. There's a whole side story to the Fix Todd's Heart Saga that I won't go in to here and now, but lets just say...August-December 1997=WORST 4 MONTHS OF MY FUCKING LIFE and leave it at that. But it's also a reminder that (B) there's not much I can't do now. I mean, fuck, I've been dead. What's the worst that can happen to me now? I have no fear of death. I had tea with Death and played cards for 5 hours. I can't remember (consciously) what it was like, but I know my sub-conscious can, and that's partly responsible for my current outlook on life, the universe and galaxial hitchhikers. There's a piece of me that has seen and been where few humans have been or where few actually can recall being.

Do I think I'm special?

Absofuckinglutely I do. But here's the rub. I think YOU'RE special too. In ways you aren't yet aware. We all have this gift...this insight within. Sometimes it just takes a little push to release it.

Like a cool scalpel blade on a hot summer day.

I wouldn't recommend trying death in an uncontrolled environment (the Doctors made sure I didn't actually STAY dead, which was nice of them)...but I would recommend sometime remembering who we are and where we came from. And that we are all one.

But that's a post for another time.

Have a fantastic day my friends.

-AT

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