The Elixir of Immortality

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Ethyl, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Ethyl

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    At what age did you realize your own mortality?
    What were the circumstances?
    How did it affect your life afterwards?

    I was 17 and involved in a motorcycle accident with my friend. Injurywise, I fared much better than he did and it dawned on me how lucky we both were to be alive (we thought helmets, jackets, and other protective clothing were optional). The leftover asphalt in my knee served/serves as a reminder to live life to the fullest without shaving off years in the process, if at all possible. I still ride but now my attire is appropriate for each occasion.


    *Please note: This is obviously a somewhat morbid subject (maybe it's the former goth in me), but my intent is to keep a positive note throughout the thread. Today it occurred to me that my oldest niece has been aware of her own mortality since the age of 7 (due to diabetes), which is way too young IMO. Everyone's experiences will differ vastly and that's why i'm curious.
     
  2. findfirefox

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    Hit by a car crossing the street because the school bus pulled up and the driver waved me across. I was 12. I have color blindness in one eye and I can't hear out of my left ear. I really don't understand the body, so I have no idea how that worked out.

    He was late for work, so that makes it all better. If your late for work you don't need to stop for School Buses flashing red lights and a stop sign.
     
  3. jeff black

    jeff black <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Wow, I am IMPRESSED.... this is an interesting thread topic MERC!!:biggrin1:

    I realized I was mortal at 7 yrs old. I was walking down the street with a friend of mine from school, and we both noticed this bird laying on the road, twitching a bit, its wing messed up. Being a relatively curious child, I picked it up and ran home.
    When I got there,I was greeted by my mom, who asked what I had in my hand. When I showed her the bird, she gasped, and then informed me that it isn't a good idea to carry around dead birds. I said it wasn't dead, it was moving earlier.
    Anyways, long story short, she told me that the bird must have died on the way home, and I was to bury it in the backyard. When I came back in, I had to wash my hands with hot water and soap, and then my mom and I sat down and had the TALK about death. We talked about pets, and friends of the family who had died.

    To which I asked, " Mommy, when will I die?"
    And I remeber this very clear, because we were discussing it last week... She turned to me, and smiled, stating
    " No one knows when they die honey, it is best to just enjoy life as you see fit. That way, when it comes... you will be happy."

    That was when I realized I could die.:smile:
     
  4. SpeedoGuy

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    * At age 12 or so I closely witnessed a horrific highway accident that caused a fatality.

    * My father died of illness that same year.

    * At age 13 I was involved in a serious road accident that left glass and metal embedded in my face. I still carry the scars from the 300+ stitches over my right cheek and neck.

    * At age 16 I was among a group of of searchers who first discovered a downed aircraft. 4 on board perished.

    * At age 17 I narrowly avoided catastrophe twice from a mid air collision and a bird strike.

    * At age 22 I witnessed another traffic accident with a fatality.

    * At age 32 I was involved in another serious car crash that left me with a broken back, internal damage and more lacerations.

    So, yah, I've been aware of my mortality since an early age. The result is that I don't fear death like I once did but I sure don't want to get to know it any better, either.
     
  5. jakeatolla

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    At the age of 5 I fell off a slide in a playground in Winter time,
    and landed on a chunck of ice that split my skull open
    exposing my brains to the world.
    At the age of ten I was involved in a collision between my bicycle
    and a car resulting in a serious concussion.

    In my early twenties, I was working on a construction site when
    someone dropped a 15 pound sledgehammer off the 15th floor,
    Missing me by less than 12 inches. At the time of impact, I was using
    my hardhat to scratch the back of my head.

    A few years later I was broad sided by a full grown deer . Luckily
    I swerved to avoid hitting it head on, which would'nt have been
    very good for me.

    Yeas later I went over the handle bars of my mountain bike,
    and landed on my head, which accordioned my spinnal cord, causing
    temporary paralysis in my chest muscles, making breathing quite hard.

    I figure I'm one of the luckiest people when it comes to being alive.
     
  6. CUBE

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    About 33. I was in a car accident. It left me with some shoulder nerve damage and soon after diabetic. It changed me. Not better or worse..but changed me. I am so super aware of my mortality. I have wondered if I am not living life as full or as happy. It is hard to explain. I am happy but not as fullfilled as I once thought I'd be in life. There was my life before and then after the accident and yet things could have been so much worse that I do feel fortunate too. Kind of a mixed bag that most don't understand.
     
  7. rawbone8

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    Age 11 I witnessed a motorcycle double mortality. Two young guys on the motorcycle were killed when hit by a dumptruck in morning fog conditions. I was on my bicycle and narrowly missed being hit by the sliding motorcycle. Since I was on my way to serve as an altar boy at morning mass, I got the priest to come out to the street. They had been killed instantly, and were wearing helmets.

    It was so much louder than I could have imagined at impact, and then so much quieter that it seemed unreal and dreamlike. I was struck by how instantly everything changed so irrevocably.
     
  8. ClaireTalon

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    I've always tried my best to subdue thoughts of my own mortality, I thought it was better that way. Too many things can go wrong if you ponder about it too much, which is why I tried to think about it as little as possible. However, the first time it really got to me that I wasn't the one alotting my time on earth was when had a bird strike on my second solo flight. It wasn't as close to death as others' experiences, but it got me thinking, though, and did so for weeks after. Usually the wee hours when your day was finished, the thought came to me, my stomach used to knot up, and I felt a shiver. That way it went on for some weeks, and then I learned to handle it. Carrying those thoughts around with fear is no good thing for a pilot, in crucial situations it can block your actions, literally.
     
  9. surferboy

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    When I was 2, my grandfather died in front of my eyes.
     
  10. Love-it

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    A close friend, who was like a father to me (he was 9 years older than my father) nearly died from a fall, I flew out to to be with his wife (my other mother) while he was still unconscious. The fall was the eventual cause of his demise.

    I was 31 and when I returned home all I wanted to do was hold my wife and then I was able to cry.
     
  11. davidjh7

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    I would say my first awareness of mortality came when I was about five, and tried to stop a glass door from slamming. I was cut bad enough that the looks on everybody elses faces, including the doctor's, was enough to make me aware. THe second time was at my maternal grandmother's funeral, when I reached out and touched her cheek, as a final farewell. I will never forget the feel of it. Dead flesh feels....artificial. Like some kind of plastic. THat was when I was very aware of the seperation of living and dead, in the same package. Pretty much every year since, someone close to me, or semi-close has died. I accepted at an early age that death was a natural normal, almost common, part of living. For this reason, death has never scared me, and I have had some very close calls in my life. NO death wish per se, just an aceptance of when it is my time, it will be my time, and when it isn;t it isn't. In the meantime, I have to live and fullfill my responsibilites, and don;t have the time or energy to really think much about it. :smile:
     
  12. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Having been physically and emotionally abused as a child I've always been able to distance myself from reality by blocking the effects of personal tragedy and retreating to that safe place in my mind that the abused find early on.

    I'm a religious man who accepts immortality as a matter of course and I look forward to continuing life in another form but, believe it or not, I never accepted or acknowledged my own mortality until I was 53 when I died of a heart attack. Revived in the emergency room, I was forced to realize how my life could end so unexpectedly, like turning off a light switch.
     
  13. rhino_horn

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    i saw an acquaintance of mine get his brain blasted out 50 yards away from me, later i spent some time with his murderers. it was the first time i ever felt my own life was in danger.

    i started looking for meaning/purpose. ive been exposed to death my whole life, but i always thought of myself as a spectator...i didnt realize how worthless MY life was until i was 18.
     
  14. B_Stronzo

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    I became abrupty (though unwillingly) too aware of my own mortality at age seventeen. It was the night I walked into the bedroom my brother and I shared growing up and found him hanging and dead by his own hand.


    Innocence was a thing of the past and I stared mortality in its face.

    I've found my elixir: living honestly and well for as long as I've got

    (great topic mercurial bliss)
     
  15. ManiacalMadMan

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    I was about 6 or 7 years old and the sweet lady who rented the rooms upstairs was diagnosed with cancer. Back then it usually meant it was curtains and I saw her walking outside a few times getting thinner and slower and then she died. My grandfather sat me down and talked about life and how it is a cycle and some people get a lot of time and some people not so much. He went on to tell me that was why each day should be lived as well as possible since you don't know when The Man upstairs is going to send someone down to take you to Heaven. It was strange and nice all at once what he told me and I appreciated life more because of that. When I was in the second grade a boy in the first grade class fell out an 8th floor window and died so I knew then what my grandfather had told me was true since Peter died so young. From, then on I lived like my grandfather had advised me to
     
  16. D_Elijah_MorganWood

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    I had no idea I had much in common. I can empathise with the numbness as a result of childhood abuse. As a result, I didn't internalize the tragedy I witnessed. I saw (at close range) a horrific accident at 19.

    Awareness of my own mortality came when I was 26 and I had an N.D.E. . I OD'd on drugs. It was a profound experience (to say the least). Life, as well as my perception of death was changed after that it took a while, I was so numb that it didn't sink in right away. Today death doesn't scare me. I know the body is just a host for the spirit.
     
  17. B_Spladle

    B_Spladle New Member

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    I have long suspected that I'm not a mortal at all.
     
  18. Wonderboy

    Wonderboy New Member

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    Probably as soon as I was born.

    I was one of the smallest babies ever until recently...a girl named Ruby was born 14 weeks premature and the size of a 'cell phone'. I have no idea of my size when I was born but I was told I could fit in the palm of your hand and was transparent, like Ruby and many extremely premature babies are.

    Soon after I was born, I couldn't breathe (my lungs, heart etc were not properly developed, as you can imagine). I actually 'died' four times. But came back. I also had a tracheoctomy and doctors said I wouldn't be able to talk or even eat. Luckily I can...I wonder if the scar tissue will tear though, but I don't think it will. A lot of people think my scar is a hicky...

    Other things that happened were...I was riding my bike in a forest, and came off, was sliding on my side with the bike in front of me. The back wheel snagged on a little tree at the top of a cliff with about a 20ft drop. That would have been nasty.

    Apart from that though I haven't really been seriously injured or hospitalised.

    Quite a few people in my family and friends of the family have died...but I have a strange relationship and indifference to death...and am actually quite emotionally detached from...probably everything.

    The psychologist in me suspects it is because I was told, as a child, that my father was dead. Then later, as a teen, that he was not dead and was in fact alive and someone else other than the man I was told previous. I was 'bullied' about it a bit in school (only by the one class clown mind)...which I guess had an effect. I would routinely beat the shit out of him though, after a certain time.

    Anyway yes, I accept mortality. But my view of death is a strange one. I know it's real when it happens, and that it will happen to me...but then at the same time...I don't accept it. Weird huh?
     
  19. D_Melburn Pudmuncher

    D_Melburn Pudmuncher Account Disabled

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    I don't know why but it seems to me I have always been aware that I will die one day and it will probably hurt. My parents were the type that were always saying "be carefull" and were always warning me about the dangers in life. Then my very youthful mom died at 57 and my Dad soon after. Shortly after that I started waking up at night panicked with the realization that it really could happen to me. I spent a few years like that only the panic spilled over into the daytime in the form of all day butterflys, nausea and worried thoughts about anything and everything. I read a lot and sought a bit of counseling on the matter and learned that much of the fear is in the "not knowing." To the degree that one insists on having control on everything in life, anxiety and fear of the unknown will be proportionate. I learned that it's OK to turn off these thoughts and redirect them to things you do have a bit of control over.(easier said than done) I was given a 6 week program to work on that helped me to learn how to redirect my thoughts onto ones that were of my own choosing which was a skill I was lacking. This has helped me to live in the moment rather than to go future trippin' into places I have no understanding of. I have my moments still but not like b4. There is a certain amount of peace to be gained by acceptance.
     
  20. yhtang

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    At 19 years of age, you are supposed to feel immortal!
     
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