The Death

I didn’t realize there was an ambulance with flashing lights in the neighborhood until a police cruiser parked in front of my house. The policeman casually strolled across my neighbor’s yard across the street towards a nearby house. I hoped that whomever the victim of whatever misfortune occurred would be OK.


As I waited for some sign of activity, I wondered why the ambulance and its fire truck escort had arrived without blaring sirens. Why did the policeman casually walk across the yard without any sign of urgency? Why wasn’t a victim being rushed to the ambulance?

After what must have been 20-minutes, the ambulance crew and firefighters wheeled a stretcher down a driveway. I couldn’t determine who the person was, because the crew obscured the view.

After another several minutes, the various emergency personnel entered their vehicles. The policeman drove away. The flashing lights of the ambulance and the fire truck were switched off. The fire truck departed slowly, followed by the ambulance. The absence of flashing lights and sirens upon arrival and departure implied that the victim was probably dead before the emergency crews had arrived.

An hour later, I noticed my across the street neighbor sweeping his driveway. I asked Chuck if he knew anything about the incident. The only fact he knew for sure was that the person on the stretcher was Olivia, one of the legal guardians of two children who lived one house away.

“The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.”–Mark Twain

After returning home, I wondered about the reactions and feelings of the children in the household. What about the emotional wellbeing of Olivia’s spouse? The death was the end of Olivia’s life story.

Olivia’s story was intertwined with the stories of her family, friends, and acquaintances. The stories have beginnings, plots, subplots, endings, and epilogues. The stories change the meanings of stories that preceded it. Olivia’s story is the prelude of stories to come.

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”–Steve Jobs

Whenever someone close to us passes away, it’s normal for us to ponder our own deaths. How have we lived our lives? Will we change anything about our ways of living for the future? What will be our legacies?

I did not know Olivia well as a person, but I do know she was part of a happy family. Apparently, she had a good life and was well loved. The memories of her will live long with her survivors.

Ciao
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the Ancient Roman Emperor/philosopher, Marcus Aurelius. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.” 

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Contemplation, Hometown, Meanderings, philosophy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Death

  1. I am sorry. Even if you weren’t close, it is still disconcerting when someone in close proximity to you dies

  2. joseleto says:

    There is nothing anyone can do for Olivia. I hope her kids will her her kids through this. Kids don’t always share their feelings.

    • swabby429 says:

      I’m concerned for the children because they’re in the state system as foster children. They have already been placed into another two-parent home. At least the siblings are being cared for together as a unit. They will have to reorient their young lives, yet again.

  3. Jeff Flesch says:

    Excellent, Jay. The quotes are outstanding and so very true.

  4. Pingback: Schwellenangst | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

  5. Good blog post.😃 😀 2021-06-21 09h 50min

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