I’ve never died but I’ve come close. In my case, I was shot in the neck at point-blank range. Most people know this, but no one knows what was going through my mind in the few seconds after I was shot. First of all, I knew I was paralyzed before I even hit the ground. It was like my body was one giant rubber band that had been snapped, the vibration strong at first and dissipating as I fell.
Then I heard the blood. A soft hissing sound followed by gurgling noises. I watched as it trickled into the gutter. At that point I thought I was going to die. And in that moment, I accepted that fact. Now, I know some people believe in God. If not God, then some other higher power. But I’m here to tell you what I experienced. There was no God. There were no angels, nor trumpets, or even a long tunnel with a light at the end. There was no devil, nor demons or hellfire. My salvation came in the form of something else. My salvation was love.
It was a face. Her face. I saw it in snapshots. I saw it in good memories and bad. Always changing, smiling. It was like someone had taken a photo album and made it into an animation. A flipbook of everything I’d ever done with her. It was this that made me want to hang on. So I clamped my neck down onto my shoulder as much as I could to stop the blood from pouring into the gutter. I held it there until the paramedics arrived. I lived.
My point is that there are things in this world worth living for. Others might see angels. Others might see a tunnel with a light at the end. Whatever it is, there is something worth living for. So, love when you can love, help when you can help, and teach when you can teach. We will all be better off in the long run.