Death is a normal part of life. We all remember the first time our parents sat us down to explain it and for some it was daunting, but think about being a kid growing up in the world presented by The Walking Dead. Death isn’t just a normalcy there, it’s literally something to face on a day to day basis. The characters in this show are as fearful as any of us watching would be, but that only makes them want to live more and survive. And while it seems like dying has become so expected to them, they still seem to have a hard time saying goodbye to those they love when the time comes, but unlike in a world where death isn’t everywhere, they seem to move on a lot faster than those of us watching ever could.
News stories about cars going off the road and plowing down pedestrians. Those make me the most cautious walker ever. I am constantly fearful when I go down the street to Target because as much as you trust yourself, you cannot be too sure of the speeding cars passing by. One bad driver and that’d be it. I’d be dead and then what? The idea of not being here tomorrow mixed with the fact that we just don’t know if there’s anything after our lights go out – FEAR. Death is my number one after gorillas and alligators (they’re tied and look – my fear of them came way before their 2016 breaking news). Perhaps because it’s so permanent, but possibly because I’d be missing out on what came after I was gone.
Have you ever written and deleted something a dozen times before committing? That’s how this intro came to be, and I’m sure James Shotwell can attest to that as well. As a fellow writer who founded Under The Gun Review, but has since moved on to being the Digital Marketing Coordinator for Haulix – he knows the power of the written word and I’m sure is familiar with drafting something up over and over again. Because again, that’s how this started out. That’s because the topic I am grateful James was willing to talk about today is not an easy one.
This week is about death and James has not lost a family member by blood, but instead a friend he met in college who came to be less than a friend and more of a brother. Not all of us are lucky enough to find a friend like that in life, but James was. Sadly though, his brother from another mother Justin passed away a couple of years ago now, and the following explores the day James found out, his outlook on death and more.
It’s the only thing we can be sure will happen in our lives. Some may never find love, some may never travel, some may never understand Donnie Darko (seriously, that movie makes no sense) – but all of us will die. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow – but it’s going to happen. Sheldon Cooper once said on The Big Bang Theory, “Mourning the inevitable is a complete waste of time,” which is true. We can’t sit and live our lives thinking about that unavoidable end to all of our stories, but at the same time – it’s scary as fuck. I sometimes sit by myself and if the thought of that little voice in my head just one day stopping creeps in, I freak. I panic. I can’t. This isn’t uncommon though. Lena Dunham noted it in her memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, “I think a fair amount about that fact that we’re all going to die. It occurs to me at incredibly inappropriate moments.” She’s not the only one, Felicia Day lamented about it in You’re Never Weird On the Internet (Almost), “I was going to die someday. I was going to END.” At that point she realized she had to do something more with her life.