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5:31 am - Mon 2/23/04
A Bad Case Of Death

A Bad Case Of Death

(Well, I'm certainly not happy to be up this early, but up this early I am, so I guess I might as well make some use of it...)

Interesting day yesterday...

Started out with sad news from Jane--Judy S., a stalwart of community theatre back in Lansing, slipped on the ice, broke her leg, and died of complications during surgery.

Judy and I weren't really friends, but I've known her for years, and the news was something of a shock; I don't know how old she really was, but I perceived her as eternally sixty-something, and as my 43rd birthday approaches, "sixty-something" is seeming not-that-old to me.

And I had no idea you could die during surgery to repair a broken leg (When I told someone at work about it, they asked "Isn't that malpractice?"; I wondered about that myself, but it seems a bit beside-the-point at this juncture).

One thing that always hits me when someone dies is the strangeness of it (Though in reality, I guess it's not really "strange" at all)--Here was someone who lived, had her daily routines and favorite things, her likes and dislikes and hopes and dreams, loved and was loved, and while she was a bit player in my little show, starred in the epic that was her life.

And now--suddenly--she's gone.

Due in part to my somewhat unusual circumstances, for the longest time I felt shielded from death; My loved ones were never going to die, mostly because I didn't have loved ones.

I've known any number of people who have died of course, but like I said before, their deaths have mostly just hit me as "strange".

I can't say I've ever experienced actual grief over someone's passing; I might get a little sad, or a little scared, but as of this writing, I 've never experienced the psychic body-blow of losing someone I can't imagine living without (Though I guess being taken from Mrs DeHaven would qualify as that kind of "psychic body- blow", even though she didn't actually die till some years later).

But as I've hit middle age, and have friends who are middle aged (And older), I've felt death slowly, inexorably, "circling in". Death is not going to let me view it at a distance forever.

And I've gotta tell ya--I'm not too happy about that!

(It's like a real-life version of Ten Little Indians. But the "real-life version" is much less satisfying than Agatha Christie, because in real life, the killer never gets caught. And worse yet, I'm one of the victims.)

Regarding my own death, I used to kid about how "I'm getting used to the fact that I might die someday...".

I don't joke about death much anymore. Now that I'm out here in L.A., now that I've gotten past my resistance and fear and what-have-you, and am trying to create a life that feels right to me, I've imagined it would be quite the funny little cosmic joke if I got hit with a bad case of death on my way to fame and fortune.

In a word, I would feel totally gypped.

(Well, I'd intended this to just be the start of an entry, but what can you do? I'm fading fast here--from fatigue, and not death's icy grip--and feel the need for some more ZZZZ's before my Comcast audition later on today.)


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