Sunday, January 27, 2013

For Those Not With Us Anymore

When I was young, some sad news came time to time about guys my age. People I knew or had known. In the same neighbourhoods and suburbs where we grew up. Sometimes I wondered what it was about that age. Guys. Sudden growth in mortality rate.
Some of those memories come back as I remember my youth. In flashbacks. I don't know if it's about getting to this age certain things from the past start coming up. Maybe it has something do with my work, which is often about trying to remember significant things. Even own personal history. The interest in trying to map my own past. Places. As they were then. Maybe to be partially used as a fictional setting.
Unfortunately, sometimes the memories come through with sorrow.
The last sad news came yesterday. An old acquaintance my age. We went to the confirmation camp together at the age 15. Heart attack.
A young man. Still. There are no judges giving votes who will be dropped next.
When I look back certain lives could've been predicted early. How vulnerable some were. The friend from the sports team, who had moved away. His death notice was in the newspaper when he was 15. No others were involved in this gun-related incident.
Others where in an accident caused later on by a young man, also from that same sports team. Who had decided to drive his car against another car. Head-on collision. He wasn't the only fatality.
Some stories were sad in different ways. Because of just one impulsive decision. To go grab a burger some kilometers away after a successful sports tournament. Later at night after a little partying. The big tree by the road was the last guard. The headstone of that young man is in the same cemetery where my Dad is buried.
There are slowing down lives as we have lived, have become adults, hopefully gotten smarter, found the peace. Some didn't have that understanding or hope. Or the will to understand.
How fast some of them were living their lives. As if it would run away, if you don't try to catch it as much as possible immediately right there. In that moment. With both hands.
And the ones you could tell didn't appreciate life. Many of them haven't been here anymore in years. You could tell it already very early.
As many experiences can tell, we don't know what's around the corner. Which day or the second will be the last one.
I have no clue if I will live to be 100. Will I have the same destiny as this young man had some weeks ago when he moved from here to eternity.
Still, a bit shocked I've stopped. On Monday I'll phone to reserve an appointment for a proper health check up. We're only here once.

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