And then I died


“…an eagle came and swooped me up
And through the air we flied,
But he dropped me in a boiling lake
A thousand miles wide.
And you’ll never guess what I did then–

~ Shel Silverstein’s “True Story” from Where the Sidewalk Ends

I posted True Story in it’s entirety once, I only needed a tidbit for this entry. Basically, I only needed the last line…

Have you ever had the fleeting thought that you actually died at one point in your life and all of this is just you dreaming in your coffin? Or your afterlife? Or that millisecond before death and you imagined all this is what would have happened? Not in a morbid, gothy-whiny sort of way, but in a more elusive, disenchanted, disconnected and possibly surreal moment kind of way. And for our purposes, without the use of drugs to get there. Have you?

I have.

And I’d always thought it a bit odd. One of those strange thoughts I have that I keep to myself for fear of being locked up. But, as a little moonlight and a lot of tequila have revealed, I am not alone in this thought. It’s fleeting and not at all suicidal, it’s more of a “what if” situation.

And so, I drag it into the garage for this Thursday’s question. Never mind if you have or haven’t had the thought, I wouldn’t want to out those of you still protecting yourself from the encumbering styles currently available in high-end straight jackets. Rather, for giggles, let’s pretend you all have… now tell me when you died. What moment could have been your death? That near miss on the highway? That accident that didn’t happen on the farm? Whatcha got?

Me? I drowned when I was six. I was swimming with the daycare away group in some shallow rapids and hit one of those soft spot drop-offs. I remember going under, hitting bottom way over my head, springing up and gulping air, and then going down again. I did this several times before… Before I died, and dreamed the rest of this life I’ve had =)

That was my moment. When did you die?

0 Responses to And then I died

  • paula says:

    First, I love Shel Silverstein!
    I guess the closest to anything like that was the car accident I had.
    I thought I was fine until later in the evening when I went into convulsions on the living room floor and woke up in the ER.
    Very strange feeling.

  • Bob Freeman says:

    Numerous occasions come to me, but the most obvious would be my 25th Birthday Party. I drank a fifth of Bacardi and a pint of Jim Beam, ate a quarter ounce of psilocybin, took eight hits of high-powered blotter, smoked copious amounts of marijuana, and snorted about an ounce of cocaine. Then I went to the movies to see the premiere of The Doors. Everything was going fine until Val Kilmer and Kyle MacLachlan went out into the desert and ate peyote. That’s when shit really got weird…

  • wolfnoma says:


    I have had the fortune or misfortune, depending on how you look at it, to have actually stared at Death’s ugly, fleshless skull no less than four times in my life. I shall try to be brief in this short disertation of the first of those incidents.

    The first time I met that cocksucker was the day I graduated the 3rd grade, I was headed home with my end of year papers in hand which included my final report card. Some would say that this was the best report card of my entire educational internment. As I drew closer to home with visions of a summer filled with canoeing the rivers of Wisconsin, catching record size fish and hunting squirrels and rabbits, I passed by a classmates house. He was in his backyard with his mother setting up tables and chairs. Hanging streamers from the crab-apple tree and to my boyish glee, testing the water tempurature of their above ground swimming pool. I waved and spoke with them for a few minutes and was happily surprised when they invited me to partake in the end of the school year festivities.

    I rushed home, called my mother at work, yelled frantically into the phone that I was going to a pool party and I would be home when it was over. I then scribbled on the phone book the address of where I would be. Jumped into my swimming trunks and ran the three blocks back to my friends house for an afternoon of aquatic frolicking. (Yeah, sounds so fucking pretentious!)

    Did I mention that I didn’t know how to swim? Yup, you guessed it, not 20 minutes into our splashing and yelling and screaming, I ended up in the middle of the pool trying to doggie paddle to the edge and failing miserably. I bobbed up and down about a dozen times before I finally succumbed to gravity and exhaustion. My last conscious thoughts were filled with fear. So much fear that I actually emptied my bladder.

    I woke up on the concrete slap behind the garage with an ample breasted mother beating on my chest and screaming frantically into a phone. I then vomited up all the water in my stomach and lungs. When the ambulance got there the EMT’s poked and prodded me and then declared me fit for life. Then they left.

    I called my mom and tried to explain to her what happened and she screamed and yelled and cried and told me to go home. I said ok and hung up the phone. I then spent the next thirty minutes sucking down a root beer, eating cheetos and hot dogs. After my hunger had subsided I got back in the pool but this time I had a life jacket on. All my class mates were happy to show me how to swim. I tried and I tried but I never took that life jacket off.

    When I got home around 730 that night, the house was dark, my sisters were off at their respective end of the school year parties and my mother was still at work. As I stood in the shower, washing off the chlorine from the pool I reflected on the events of the day and I vowed that I would be the best swimmer I could be by the end of the summer.

    Which I managed to do and go blind at the same time but that is a story for another time. I also realize that I have gone on way too long here so I will save my other near-death/totally-alive stories for another time.

    PS. Sorry for any grammatical errors, I was never close to death near an Englishh teacher.

  • *laughs* Awesome quote. Hmmmm… one of two times, I’d say, would have done me in. One was surgery – appendix and gall bladder removed, and evidently I reacted to the anesthesia really quickly, because the anesthesiologist said “This is what we call slipping you a Mick-” and I literally was out before he finished the word.

    Or that time I was racing a fellow choir member in the parking lot and nearly got hit by a car. ^^; I kinda jumped onto the hood. No, not quite like Karate Kid III – more like almost-flattened-on-the-windshield. STILL. It was *epic.*

  • Nikki says:

    I drowned too, but inside my own lungs. Twice. And the second time I suffered congestive heart failure, so they had to put me into a medically induced coma. I came out of it a couple days later, but then again…maybe I didn’t.


  • Sara Larson says:

    I bled to death during surgery seven weeks before Bill and I got married. I had thirty-seven tumors removed from my uterus and during the surgery, I bled out. Supposedly they transfused me and I made it, but maybe not…

  • Bob Ford says:

    I died when I was eight years old when my head was crushed like an overripe cantaloupe under the wheel of a full hay wagon.

  • Monica says:

    First time I was twelve. My cousin and I were swimming in a lake and were having a mud fight. He knocked me underwater and sat on me and I couldn’t get up. I was sure I’d died.

    But I didn’t have that REAL doubt of my mortal status until I was an adult … during a trip to NoLa with friends, one had a premonition that we were going to get killed. Her dead grandmother visited her and told her to stay away from this one side street/alley … funny thing was I had spotted these two guys and they’d scared the hell out of me for no reason. This was before my friend even said anything to me about the warning … and as she’s describing the story of how her grandmother described in graphic detail how these two men attacked, raped, and murdered us, I could actually picture it all in graphic detail … I believed (and maybe still do) that in an alternate reality these men brutally killed us. I spent MONTHS trying to come to terms with how that all made me feel — and nothing had even happened to us. My therapist thought I was having a break from reality … maybe I was. Or maybe my friend’s dead grandmother changed our reality and saved our lives.

    To this day I sometimes wonder if I actually survived.

  • Jennifer Cooksey says:

    When did I die, well there are numerous occasions to choose from, it is difficult to pick one?

    Truthfully, what happened during these events are irrelevant, but I will say what occurred during early childhood, was the result of me being a willful, mischievous child. As a child, I would do crazy stunts that only a defiant child would do.

    Two life lessons learned; Respect the ocean it is your elder, and never climb upside down from a bunk bed gravity always wins.

    A part of me screams it took place when you were 12, but I squelch, that voice and firmly say, no.

    A voice whispers in my ear, remember when you ran into that ghost, I giggle, and shake my head, that was not it either.

    There was that time I was trying to cross the street when an Airport Van hit me, but I sigh, no. I remember something else, but that is not it, sad but not tragic enough.

    Then, it occurred to me, I know when it happened, I was 33. I was recuperating from surgery, when the nurses decided, that it was time for me to be ambulatory.

    I collapsed and stopped breathing that was when I died.

    Ah, that was fun; I think this surreal moment occurs when you are doing mundane tasks, things you just wish magical elves would take care of, like cleaning up dog vomit.

    Truthfully, I never imagined I would hear someone else say they experienced this. I was tickled pink.

    I also do not think, I am crazy or heading towards a straight jacket, although I told my mad scientist husband this, and he wrinkled his nose, like I just mentioned the word tampon and told me to be practical.

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