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Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Last night, I suffered what I suppose was a minor heart attack. We had just finished eating and were sitting on the couch watching television. I became aware of an odd sensation: my heart felt as though it was a block of ice and with each beat, it sent icy blood down my left leg and down my left arm. I could feel the coldness all the way down into my hand. I became dizzy and told The One that I thought I was going to lose consciousness. The last thing I can remember saying is "call 112 on the cellphone" to The One so that he could summon an ambulance. Then nothing, simply blackness, the way anaesthesia takes you.

The One says that I was only out for about ten seconds and that I had twitched a little while I was gone. My vision returned from the edges as I woke up and I felt as though the earth was wobbling. I was still dizzy and perspiring profusely. I put a cushion under my head and tried to relax a little while The One gently stroked my head, all the while staring at me with big, anxious eyes.

While I was resting with my eyes closed, I had a bit of an epiphany. I have written before that the concept of death scares me, but I realized with alarming clarity that it has always simply been the death of The One or of the other people close to me that I was terrified of. I had never even considered the fact that I, too, was mortal, and here it had been suddenly and unceremoniously thrust upon me. I found in that instant that the death that I had become most terrified of was my own, and it felt as though I had had a warning.

I also realized that I have been taking life much too intensely. My heart simply cannot bear the intensity with which I love and hate, the intensity with which I cling to life, the intensity with which I do everything. I simply have to learn to let go.

My final private thought was a farewell to The One. It was not a farewell in the sense of leaving; it was rather a statement of my own vulnerability and humanness.

And, whether I am relaxing at home or having a hectic time at work, or whatever I busy myself with, I have started the long and daunting journey of coming to terms with my own mortality.

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